Scientists have developed a wrist gadget composed of used paper wipes and plastic cups that operates on energy gathered from the wearer’s motions. The prototype gadget can send Morse code, and the team is currently working on plans to incorporate this technology into smartwatches.
“It won’t be long until we have to ask ourselves which of the objects we possess are not linked to the internet,” said Dr Bhaskar Dudem, project head and Research Fellow at the University of Surrey’s Advanced Technology Institute (ATI). Nevertheless, the present internet-of-things (IoT) boom underlines the reality that our planet lacks the raw materials required to continue manufacturing these in-demand devices.
“Our research shows that there is a road to developing sustainable technology that operates on electricity generated by us, the technology’s users.”
Surrey’s invention is “self-powered” because it is made of materials that become electrically charged when they come into touch with one another. These materials (also known as Triboelectric Nanogenerators (TENGs)) capture energy from motion through a process known as electrostatic induction.
The inventors believe their energy-harvesting wearable gadgets might be a huge success in the consumer, medical, and security sectors in the future.
According to Professor Ravi Silva, Director of ATI at the University of Surrey, “the Advanced Technology Institute’s primary goal is to contribute to the creation of a future in which sustainable energy is accessible to all. This essential purpose is embodied by our energy-harvesting technology, and we are ready to cooperate with industry to guarantee that this technology realises its full potential.”
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