In the next issue of the journal Science Advances, a description of an inexpensive wearable device the size of a ring, created by a group of researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder (UCB), is published that turns the human body into a bio-battery.
In contact with the body, the device uses thermoelectric generators to convert natural human heat into electricity. According to research director Jianliang Xiao, the team’s main goal is to create wearable electronics that don’t need an external power supply.
The proposed concept has something in common with what is shown in the movie “The Matrix”, where a race of robots collects the organic energy of its enslaved people.
However, the scientists from the UCB can hardly be suspected of this: the device they have created generates only about 1 volt for every square centimeter of skin, that is, less than most existing batteries. But even this is enough to ensure the operation of electronic watches or fitness trackers.
The base of the bioaccumulator is made of an elastic material – polyimine, into the base of which several thin thermoelectric chips are integrated, interconnected by liquid metal wires. In its final form, the device is a cross between a plastic bracelet, a miniature computer motherboard and a ring.
The device will be able to show its maximum efficiency, for example, during sports activities, when the body generates more heat.