For those of us who follow developments in nanotech or the green movement (I follow both), news of fibers that can conduct and even collect kinetic energy from the movements of the body and convert it to electricity is not new. I have been hearing about it for almost a year, and about all the possible applications. My favorite is pants you can plug your cellphone or mp3 player into to charge.
This idea is one step closer to reality thanks to some unlikely help. Researchers have developed a working nanogenerator that can be powered by the irregular motions of a living being. In this case, a hamster. That’s right, a hamster.
The group designed a small suit made of the special fibers and a nanogenerator and put it on a hamster for a test run. Apparently it worked smashingly. This is great news for nanotech because it is yet another example of working technology to convince the skeptics with, and it is good for the green movement because it is an infinitely renewable resource. I mean, who knows how far this could go! Start small, with a hamster for each house just to power portable electronics. But why stop there? Increased efficiency in gathering the energy from the fibers combined with breeding hamsters for more stamina could lead to a revolution in the energy industry. Picture it: a hamster in a cage, wearing a jogging suit, little Nikes, and a sweat band, burning up a wheel. Now take a step back: a large shelving unit, at least 6 shelves high, filled with hamsters in individual cages (no animal abuse here!). Another step back: a warehouse full of shelves just like it, billions of hamsters, all running their little hearts out! HAMSTER POWER!!!