Computational creativity and the future of AI


A laptop generating a little too much waste heat (Photo: secumem via Wikipedia Commons)

That heat emanating from your computer as you sit reading this article amounts to nothing more than wasted energy. And your computer is not alone. More than half of the energy consumed worldwide is wasted, most of it in the form of excess heat. But new research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) indicates it might be possible to harvest much of the wasted heat produced by everything from computer processors to car engines and electric powerplants, and convert it into usable electricity. This kind of waste-energy harvesting might lead to mobile phones with double the talk time, laptop computers that can operate twice as long before needing to be plugged in to mains power, or energy plants that produce more electricity for a given amount of fuel.  Read More

Dyson energy bracelet design using body heat and ambient temperature to produce electricit...

How many times has your cell phone run out of juice in the middle of an important call? Too many. A team of designers, however, thinks it may have come up with a way of generating enough electricity to jolt your cell phone’s dead battery back to life to finish that all-important call – an energy bracelet that uses body heat and ambient temperature.  Read More

Prof. Rowe with the TEG equipped Volkswagen

Thermoelectrics - the phenomena in which a temperature difference creates an electric potential - have been known about for almost 200 years, but practical applications have not been widespread due to their low energy efficiency. That may all now be about to change as Germany automakers Volkswagen and BMW have developed thermoelectric generators (TEG) that recover waste heat from a combustion engine.  Read More

Rough silicon nanowires demonstrated high performance thermoelectric properties
 Image: Be...

February 12, 2008 The huge potential for utilizing the heat from the human body and other sources to generate electrical power is beginning to be realized on several fronts. Recently we encountered plans to capture and use human body heat in building design and now news of research breakthroughs at MIT and Berkeley that promise to advance the widespread application of thermoelectric power generation in our daily lives.  Read More

The human battery: turning body heat into electric power

August 6, 2007 Previously ignored energy sources are being revisited as both the global will to conserve energy and the technological means to generate it radically improve. Electromagnetic radiation from our cities, acoustic noise and stray radio waves are now being re-classified as potential power sources and the human body itself is being re-examined as a battery thanks to advances enabling the energy from body heat, motion and even blood pressure to be harnessed. A new thermoelectric system created by researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute is at the forefront of these developments - running on a miniscule 200 millivolts the device is able to create an electrical charge from body heat and could lend itself to an endless array of applications that go way beyond powering your own mobile phone.  Read More

Color Kinetics patents relate to future uses of intelligent solid-state lighting

May 26, 2005 Solid-state lighting pioneer Color Kinetics has been granted two new U.S. patents relating to LED-based illumination systems designed to generate colour-changing LED-based light sources to convey information about temperature changes within a device. The concept of intelligent lighting offers some interesting capabilities - the temperature of the stove top could be conveyed through the colour of light emitted by a multicolour LED-based source, for example.  Read More

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