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Kinetic Energy

Electronics

Piezoelectric chin strap generates electricity from chewing

In a development that could bring new meaning to the term "motor mouth," Canadian researchers have developed a chin strap capable of generating electricity from jaw movements. The team is hopeful that the strap will be able to harvest energy from common actions like eating, chewing and talking to power medical implants and wearable devices. Read More

Music

Spark shaker harvests kinetic energy for the developing world

In 15 years as a percussionist with British electronica band Faithless, Sudha Kheterpal has spent countless nights energetically bashing away on cymbals, snares and high-hats. This has inspired her to wonder how the power of music could be extended beyond the flailing arms and shaking hips in the crowd. She has now teamed up with designers and engineers to develop Spark, a shaker that harnesses kinetic energy with the aim of bringing power to the developing world.Read More

Automotive

Audi's R18 e-tron Quattro receives a dual-hybrid makeover for 2014

First introduced into rally racing in 1980, Audi’s AWD Quattro system has become synonymous with all wheel drive performance. Its AWD activities have since shifted from that of a rally-only diet to the arena endurance racing in the form of the championship winning R18 e-tron Quattro. For 2014, the Le Mans champion is back to defend its title packing more than just new laser headlights – it has a completely redesigned dual-hybrid system in hand. Read More

Electronics

It's all in the wrist: The Voltmaker kinetic smartphone charger

It's always the way. Just when you have to make that important phone call, your smartphone tells you it's time to recharge your battery and then promptly dies. Little wonder then that the backup charger market has become such a crowded space. Arguably the most appealing battery blocks available are those that can also offer off-grid emergency power from sources like PV panels or kinetic energy. The Voltmaker takes the latter approach, providing your smartphone with enough juice to make a quick phone call with a flick (or more accurately, several flicks) of the wrist.Read More

Automotive

DLR’s free-piston linear generator redesigns the range extender

Technically, the combustion engine in any hybrid vehicle is a range extender, but the term commonly refers to gasoline-fueled generators that are used to charge an electric vehicle’s battery pack but aren’t used to directly power the wheels. This is the set up used in “series” or “inline’ hybrids like the Chevy Volt, which differs from parallel hybrids like the Toyota Prius, where the wheels can be driven by the electric motor or the internal combustion engine (ICE). Researchers at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) have developed a new type of range extender that can be powered by a range of different fuels.Read More

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