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Self-fueled work station concept generates energy while you sit


July 5, 2012

Unplugged is a prototype of an office work station that powers devices via energy that is collected off the human body

Unplugged is a prototype of an office work station that powers devices via energy that is collected off the human body

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Unplugged is an office work station of the future concept that envisions powering your electronic devices via energy collected off the human body. The prototype was created by Swedish designer Eddi Törnberg as part of his final year thesis at Beckmans College of Design, in Stockholm, and you will be pleased to know that it doesn’t mean you'd be required to pedal away while you work. In fact all you would have to do is move about your office as normal, sit in your chair and let the heat of your body do the rest.

Incorporating three different modes of self-sustaining energy, this future office would see energy generated from the movement of a person walking across carpet, from the body heat of sitting in a chair and from the process of photosynthesis that occurs in plants.

The office carpet would incorporate piezo-electric elements that have been woven into the fabric. When someone walks over the carpet square or rolls the office chair back and forth, energy can be then collected and put to use. Meanwhile the plant in the corner is not just for aesthetics or clean air - similar to the Moss Table prototype which was developed by designers and scientists at the University of Cambridge, Unplugged draws energy from the plant’s natural process of photosynthesis.

Finally a thermoelectric office chair would convert temperatures into an electric current using the heat of the human body. Naturally the seat warms up when you sit in it while the base metal elements remains cold and it is the difference between these two temperatures that allows an energy current to be generated.

While it is unlikely that Törnberg's prototype can actually generate enough energy to power a laptop (or even a desk lamp) the idea gives us food for thought as energy-harvesting technology evolves along with low-energy consumption electronic devices .

Source: Eddi Törnberg via The Atlantic Cities

About the Author
Bridget Borgobello Bridget is an experienced freelance writer, presenter and performer with a keen eye for innovative design and a passion for green technology. Australian born, Bridget currently resides in Rome and when not scribbling for Gizmag, she spends her time developing new web series content and independent cinema. All articles by Bridget Borgobello

Small scale electrical production is a good thing but it would help to look at things with a little more energy potential like putting generators on the door to the toilet.


rotating doors with small dynamos fit into them (in every building which has lots of users ) makes much better sense

Atul Malhotra

Don't forget waste water turbines or water wheel generators. We send a great deal of water down the drain.


The Matrix 0.01

Gregg Eshelman
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