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Scientists create 'micro-windmills' that could power your cellphone

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posted on Jan, 12 2014 @ 08:52 PM
The Verge

Researchers at the University of Texas Arlington have developed tiny "micro-windmills" so small that ten of them can fit on one grain of rice. If you were to glue a hundred of them onto a cell phone case and hold it out the window, researcher J.C. Chiao says, you could potentially revive your dead phone in just a few minutes. The 1.8mm-wide windmills look pretty fragile, but UTA says that their flexible nickel alloy components can stand up to strong winds without fracturing.

This just seems like a great idea. I'm really surprised it hasn't been tried before, or maybe it has and I missed it.

Rao’s designs blend origami concepts into conventional wafer-scale semiconductor device layouts so complex 3-D moveable mechanical structures can be self-assembled from two-dimensional metal pieces utilizing planar multilayer electroplating techniques that have been optimized by WinMEMS Technologies Co., the Taiwanese fabrication foundry that took an initial interest in Rao’s work.

I really hope this tech can pan out for everybody involved. Not much more I can really add so has anybody at ATS heard of something like this? Will it work efficiently enough to be mass produced thus lowering costs? All important things to consider.

ETA: I guess I should have kept reading lol. It says in the article:

The micro-windmills can be made in an array using the batch processes. The fabrication cost of making one device is the same as making hundreds or thousands on a single wafer, which enables for mass production of very inexpensive systems.

See also:
Univ of Texas: Arlington
edit on 1/12/14 by thov420 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 12 2014 @ 08:59 PM
That's really great ... assuming it's windy. Otherwise, you got a new kind of shake weight on your hands.

posted on Jan, 12 2014 @ 09:22 PM
reply to post by thov420

Maybe a person could just blow to charge it up?

posted on Jan, 12 2014 @ 09:23 PM
I could see this being useful for survival gear, travel phones, and such.

posted on Jan, 12 2014 @ 09:35 PM
Not quite the same thing but real close. I posted a thread on this a few years back I think, here take a look. Kinda cool, could see a use for it for sure....

posted on Jan, 12 2014 @ 10:44 PM
reply to post by ketsuko

Very true.

reply to post by ItCameFromOuterSpace

Both could work in theory I suppose. It would mostly depend on what kinds of speeds those tiny blades need to run at for power generation.

reply to post by Grimpachi

Ya I bet it could be very useful in a SHTF type situation.

reply to post by jaynkeel

Wow that's cool. I was sure this had been tried before.

Thanks everybody, stars all around!

posted on Jan, 13 2014 @ 12:21 AM
reply to post by thov420

Now science is just F'n with us.

Still waiting for my hoverboard.

But this/these device(s) would be extremely helpful. Just walking down a street with an array of these on your shoulder and/or hat would keep your Google glasses powered all day long.

You could tether these on a balloon to provide constant power to big-bro devices and still have power to keep it afloat.

posted on Jan, 13 2014 @ 07:07 AM
It is so frustrating. All these great innovations.. and yet we're still in the saaaame place.

I remember reading (in Popular Mechanics, I think) a few years ago about a nano electricity generator. If memory serves... kinetic forces move gears and motors, similar to those pendulum/kinetic watches, to charge batteries. Imagine cell-phones or even car batteries with this tech. Just walking or driving would on average be enough to keep your battery's charged.

ok I stopped being lazy and found a link... either a different tech or my memory is lacking and disturbed
(I'm sure this is something different, still very cool)
Heart powered nano batteries

posted on Jan, 13 2014 @ 01:59 PM
reply to post by ChuckNasty

I'm still waiting for my hoverboard too! There are so many things these could be used for.

reply to post by Jimjolnir

That's really cool. The article mentions putting panels of these on the outsides of buildings. Imagine skyscrapers covered in these in windy cities like Chicago and pretty much any coastal city could provide a huge increase in power generation.

posted on Jan, 14 2014 @ 02:08 AM
If these are any good, they wont last very long. There have been numerous energy generating devices for example the "leaf" ones based on photosynthesis, and none have managed to make it to market - unfortunately.

posted on Jan, 14 2014 @ 08:51 AM
reply to post by qmantoo

Do you mean something like this?

Chemist Hopes ‘Artificial Leaf’ Can Power Civilization Using Photosynthesis

I've never heard of it before until you mentioned it. It also seems really promising. If I'm reading it right, it sounds like it's essentially electrolysis powered directly by the sun instead of using solar panels/the grid for electricity. I hope they can get it up and running soon.


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