Researchers have created wearable technology to convert mechanical energy into electrical energy. It presents a step toward the practical realization of self-powered, human-integrated technologies.

The wearable technology converts mechanical energy into electrical energy. (Purdue)

The liquid-metal-inclusion-based triboelectric nanogenerator (LMI-TENG) can harvest and sense the biomechanical signals from the body and use them to help power and direct technological devices. Triboelectric energy harvesting transducers — devices that help conserve mechanical energy and turn it into power — are a growing market. The LMI-TENG consists of a layer of liquid-metal-embedded functional silicone sandwiched between two Ecoflex layers.

The technology could enable wearable electronics to take otherwise wasted energy and transform it into energy that can power and control electronic devices and tools used in military, defense, and consumer applications.

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This article first appeared in the August, 2019 issue of Tech Briefs Magazine.

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