Engineers at Kansas State design spacesuits that use astronauts’ body heat to check vital signs and power electronics.
Cup of coffee too hot? Harvest some of that waste energy to charge your gadgets.
When humans produce energy, we do it very inefficiently. Usually what happens is that we make something very hot (like a car engine), use a tiny bit of that energy to do work, and then spend even more energy getting rid of all the waste heat. Panasonic has developed a new thermoelectric material that can get a chunk of that energy back.
D'you realize how much energy you're wasting right now, just sitting there breathing? Yeah, stop killing the environment, you jerk! Just put on thisy here AIRE mask, and all of that tedious in-and-out will turn into power for your cellphone.
Microwaves aren't very smart. It generally has no idea what you're trying to heat up, and if it's (say) a burrito and not (say) a frozen turkey, a bunch of extra microwave... waves... are going to waste. This blue box can suck up all of those spare microwaves and turn them back into electricity that — wait for it — can power your microwave again.
We're tired of hearing vague promises about how our shoes will one day be able to power our gadgets, but this particular vague promise got our attention for two reasons: one, it involves liquid metal, and two, the amount of power that it can harvest from walking is ridiculously huge.
Airplanes are loud. Very loud. And all that means is that they're pumping out massive amounts of acoustic energy that's being wasted assaulting your eardrums. Airport runways made of custom "designer" gravel could harvest some of this energy and turn it into useful amounts of electricity.