Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Body Power

PostedAugust 12, 2007

Download File (mp3)

Randy Atkins:  Electrical devices might be powered by the motions of your own body.

Zhong Lin Wang:  Any kind of mechanical movement can convert into electricity for power the devices.

Atkins:  So the heartbeat itself can be used?

Wang:  Yes, heartbeat is one.

Randy Atkins:  Z.L. Wang, a Georgia Tech engineer, says power sources could range from swinging arms to flowing blood.  The challenge is engineering extremely tiny wires that can make precise electrode contacts.

Zhong Lin Wang:  Any movement that bends this nano-wire converts a mechanical signal into electricity.

Randy Atkins:  Wang suggests they could also be put in shoes to generate your own power for, say, a cell phone.  No outlets needed.  With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP Radio.

Wang thinks nano-powerpacks will be ready in 3 to 5 years.  To find out more about this story, go to and type in keyword "Engineering Innovation" or go to <>.