Urine-powered smart socks generate electric power on-the-go
Self-sustainable energy is a major agenda for wearables and other electronics that require power. The more we make use of naturally available resources, it will be in tune with nature. In a new kind of take on making use of available resources to generate electric power, researchers at the Bristol Energy Centre have developed pair of socks which can electricity with pee. The energy produced then powers an in-built wireless transmitter which sends a message “World’s First Wearable MFC” to a PC every two minutes.
These socks have microbial fuel cell which contains waste fluid consuming bacteria which generate electricity. Waste fluid in this case is the wearer’s urine. Design of these socks is based on the anatomy of fish’s heart and circulatory system. To make things easier, a network of tubes runs down the socks in the heel area which acts as a pump with each step. Once the urine is in the fuel cell, it generates electric power which consequently prompts the system to send message to the PC.
According to Heather Luckarift, a researcher at Universal Technology Corporation, Ohio:
There is a boom in wearable electronics, and the ability to make biological fuel cells that are flexible and wearable takes the application to the next level. However, it’s not clear how you would get the urine directly into this system – how do you pee into your socks?
The system is in its early prototype stage and for now powering your gadgets with urine is a dream far-off. For now it is going to be developed into an improved prototype which can provide surge of electricity for emergency use in calling or sending a SOS message if you are stuck in no man’s land without battery power. Applications for this system can also span across many other fields.