Hamster power to help solve energy crisis?

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Hamster power to help solve energy crisis?

Post  guest... on Tue Jan 10, 2012 7:57 pm

Children's pet hamsters can help solve the world's energy crisis!

A hamster used to demonstrate conversion of biomechanical energy to electrcity.
Image: Zhong Lin Wang (doi:10.1021/nl803904b).


With the energy crisis looming, today's Caturday video smile focuses on hamster power. You know, those small fuzzy rodents that adults get for their kids as pets. But hamsters are more than pets, they are research subjects and research collaborators, testing nanotechnology designed to capture mechanical "bioenergy" produced by living things as they .. well, live.



There are several species of hamsters that are kept as pets. The golden hamster, Mesocricetus auratus, is probably the most popular of the hamster species that are kept as pets. They are the largest of the pet hamsters and also, according to my experience, the most temperamental. However, the dwarf hamsters, Phodopus species, which are amongst the smallest mammals on earth, are becoming increasingly popular pets. All three dwarf hamster species are commonly kept as pets in North America and Europe; Campbell's Russian dwarf hamster, P. campbelli, a species that is often mistaken for its sister species, the Djungarian dwarf hamster, P. sungorus, and Roborovski's desert dwarf hamster, P. roborovskii, which is the smallest of the three dwarf hamsters. Of the three dwarf hamster species, the "Robos" are reputed to be the most athletic, running, on average, the equivalent of four human marathons every night, according to BBC research.

But all hamsters run around at night. If their keeper provides them with an exercise wheel or exercise ball, they produce mechanical energy that can be captured and used. But are pet owners doing anything with all this available hamster bioenergy? Are they using it for something like ... cleaning the flat, perhaps?

Visit leafboy900's YouTube channel [video link].

But ... what about military applications? Well, there's a hamster-powered device for that, too! This video, which is currently making the rounds, shows a hamster-powered submarine prototype:

Visit hamsterpoweredsub's YouTube channel [video link].

Those are cute uses for hamster energy, but can this mechanical bioenergy be converted into electricity and used to power appliances and gadgets? In a word, yes. With a little ingenuity, some wires and clamps, mechanical hamster bioenergy can be used to recharge a mobile phone battery, as Peter Ash and his sister's golden hamster, Elvis, demonstrate:

But student scientists aren't the only ones working with hamster power. There's actually a research group at the Georgia Institute of Technology that has been using dwarf hamsters to test a nanogenerator that they designed to capture mechanical energy that would otherwise be wasted -- mechanical energy created by a flag flapping in the wind, by typing on a keyboard or ... by hamsters running on wheels (doi:10.1021/nl803904b):

Visit manman251's YouTube channel [video link].

In this study, the dwarf hamsters are fitted with tiny vests that captures their body movements whilst they run on a wheel and that mechanical energy is converted into electricity. By integrating four nanogenerators on the hamster's jacket, each animal generated, on average, between 0.1-0.15 V.

"We believe this is the first demonstration of using a live animal to produce current with nanogenerators," said Zhong Lin Wang in a press release. Dr Wang is a Regent's professor in the Georgia Tech School of Materials Science and Engineering. His daughter, Melissa, was the team's hamster expert. (You can also see one of their hamster nanotesters at the top of this piece.)

"This study shows that we really can harness human or animal motion to generate current."

Linking a shirt to an iPod is just one possible application for this new technology, said Dr Wang.

So using "hamster power" as a unit (similar to "horse power") how much energy does that represent? Having the paper to refer to, how long would it take one dwarf hamster to charge a cell phone battery, an iPad, or a nano iPod? Or alternatively, how many hamsters would it take to recharge those items in after one night's activity? How much "hamster power" is that?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/grrlscientist/2012/jan/07/1



I love this article, it really made me smile!

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Re: Hamster power to help solve energy crisis?

Post  Hugh Jardon on Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:43 pm

Didge wrote:Children's pet hamsters can help solve the world's energy crisis!

A hamster used to demonstrate conversion of biomechanical energy to electrcity.
Image: Zhong Lin Wang (doi:10.1021/nl803904b).


With the energy crisis looming, today's Caturday video smile focuses on hamster power. You know, those small fuzzy rodents that adults get for their kids as pets. But hamsters are more than pets, they are research subjects and research collaborators, testing nanotechnology designed to capture mechanical "bioenergy" produced by living things as they .. well, live.



There are several species of hamsters that are kept as pets. The golden hamster, Mesocricetus auratus, is probably the most popular of the hamster species that are kept as pets. They are the largest of the pet hamsters and also, according to my experience, the most temperamental. However, the dwarf hamsters, Phodopus species, which are amongst the smallest mammals on earth, are becoming increasingly popular pets. All three dwarf hamster species are commonly kept as pets in North America and Europe; Campbell's Russian dwarf hamster, P. campbelli, a species that is often mistaken for its sister species, the Djungarian dwarf hamster, P. sungorus, and Roborovski's desert dwarf hamster, P. roborovskii, which is the smallest of the three dwarf hamsters. Of the three dwarf hamster species, the "Robos" are reputed to be the most athletic, running, on average, the equivalent of four human marathons every night, according to BBC research.

But all hamsters run around at night. If their keeper provides them with an exercise wheel or exercise ball, they produce mechanical energy that can be captured and used. But are pet owners doing anything with all this available hamster bioenergy? Are they using it for something like ... cleaning the flat, perhaps?

Visit leafboy900's YouTube channel [video link].

But ... what about military applications? Well, there's a hamster-powered device for that, too! This video, which is currently making the rounds, shows a hamster-powered submarine prototype:

Visit hamsterpoweredsub's YouTube channel [video link].

Those are cute uses for hamster energy, but can this mechanical bioenergy be converted into electricity and used to power appliances and gadgets? In a word, yes. With a little ingenuity, some wires and clamps, mechanical hamster bioenergy can be used to recharge a mobile phone battery, as Peter Ash and his sister's golden hamster, Elvis, demonstrate:

But student scientists aren't the only ones working with hamster power. There's actually a research group at the Georgia Institute of Technology that has been using dwarf hamsters to test a nanogenerator that they designed to capture mechanical energy that would otherwise be wasted -- mechanical energy created by a flag flapping in the wind, by typing on a keyboard or ... by hamsters running on wheels (doi:10.1021/nl803904b):

Visit manman251's YouTube channel [video link].

In this study, the dwarf hamsters are fitted with tiny vests that captures their body movements whilst they run on a wheel and that mechanical energy is converted into electricity. By integrating four nanogenerators on the hamster's jacket, each animal generated, on average, between 0.1-0.15 V.

"We believe this is the first demonstration of using a live animal to produce current with nanogenerators," said Zhong Lin Wang in a press release. Dr Wang is a Regent's professor in the Georgia Tech School of Materials Science and Engineering. His daughter, Melissa, was the team's hamster expert. (You can also see one of their hamster nanotesters at the top of this piece.)

"This study shows that we really can harness human or animal motion to generate current."

Linking a shirt to an iPod is just one possible application for this new technology, said Dr Wang.

So using "hamster power" as a unit (similar to "horse power") how much energy does that represent? Having the paper to refer to, how long would it take one dwarf hamster to charge a cell phone battery, an iPad, or a nano iPod? Or alternatively, how many hamsters would it take to recharge those items in after one night's activity? How much "hamster power" is that?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/grrlscientist/2012/jan/07/1



I love this article, it really made me smile!

it may be more efficient to burn them....
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Re: Hamster power to help solve energy crisis?

Post  Guest on Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:58 pm

Burn hamsters?????
pale

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Re: Hamster power to help solve energy crisis?

Post  Flap Zappa on Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:43 am

you could probably generate more power by hooking up teenage boys right hands to a generator.

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