A Human Powered Future? Maybe.

Dan Conant
What the chip would look like


With all sorts of alternative energy sources vying to prove themselves the cheapest and cleanest of them all, human generated energy has recently made a big stride due to a new piece of technology from Princeton.  However, before you begin to think of something similar to the Matrix with humans being plugged into a power grid, it is important to note that humans will not generate mass quantities of energy.  This is because the energy generated is by our muscles movement, not by the small but frequent electrical impulses that trigger muscle movement. 

Princeton University engineers created a chip composed of ceramic and rubber nanoribbons.  This allows the chip to be able to flex.  The idea behind the chip is that when a muscle moves, this chip attached to it will also flex and by doing so, create a small amount of energy.  The chip is also fairly efficient in terms of energy conversion, turning mechanical energy into electrical energy at an efficiency rate of 80%. 

This chip is very important to the many fields of medicine.  There are currently a number of medical devices such as implants that require a source of energy.  Currently batteries fill this role, but when they begin to run out of energy, the patient has to undergo another surgery to have another battery put in.  With this chip implanted, repeated operations would never have to happen again unless the chip became damaged or the pacemaker was having issues.  For someone with a pacemaker, this chip would be implanted near the lungs due to its proximity to the heart as well as the constant movement of a person’s lungs due to breathing would provide a consistent a steady source of energy for the pacemaker. 

This is not the first human powered energy converter to have been conceived, but it is arguably one of the best ones.  Due to the materials in the chip, the body should also accept the chip with no issues.  Furthermore, due to the simplicity of the chip and the materials not costing too much, chips like these should become affordable soon after their debut and mass production; certainly a relief for the many people out there with heart problems and wallet problems.

Information for this article was gathered from this link.

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Dan is a junior environmental studies major and is currently an intern for Dickinson's Center for Sustainability Education.

33 thoughts on “A Human Powered Future? Maybe.”

  1. This is crazy! I wonder what other applications there could be for this besides pacemakers and maybe deep brain stimulating electrodes…

  2. This is really interesting. I wonder if this could improve the functioning of artificial body parts and even be used to enhance the functioning of body organs and parts.

  3. Impressive and thought provoking. In fact, there are already AI based chips produced by Princeton University engineers lab, but they are not allowed to be used still. The research papers are not finished and the tests are being checked.

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  7. Wow, thanks for sharing this news! I think the future is nearby, the chip you talked about is definitely very useful for modern medicine, because it allows people who, for example, have implants not to undergo repeated operations, in order to remove and insert batteries, it will generate energy using muscle movements and recharge the implant all the time! By the way, I advise you to post this information on Twitter, where tens of thousands of implant owners can see and evaluate. From time to time I see such information there and noticed that in most cases they are published by accounts with at least 92 thousand subscribers! I am sure this is because their owners use https://viplikes.net/ services to quickly increase their number.

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