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Perpetual Remote Machine

A remote control without batteries...
  [vote for,

Just the other day I was watching TV when I saw a small transmitter being clipped onto the talons of a bird. Scientists where going to observe the habits of the bird for 3 months. So. A transmitter that sends signals over 100’s of feet weighs only a few ounces and my remote has to have those two batteries? Why cant the TV remote not have batteries... the power needed to transmit a signal over 4 - 6 feet should be small enough to be powered just by tapping in Kinetic energy caused by the motion of the remote. Like in those watches.
nomadic_wonderer, Jan 05 2005

history of remote control http://www.modellba...qpage/ihistory.html
"ultrasonic affected by dog tags" [Ling, Jan 05 2005]

(??) Clickers http://members.fort...g45nzp/clicker.html
The click was audible...... [Ling, Jan 05 2005]


       With all the empty space inside a remote, it would be easy to add an arbitrary motion electrical generator to charge up the batteries. If you wanted to avoid batteries altogether, piezoelectric buttons would do nicely. [+]
Aq_Bi, Jan 05 2005

       Those ultrasonic remotes could be fooled by jingling coins around.
Ling, Jan 05 2005

       Were they ultrasonic? I've not ever seen a sonic remote but it seems that if jingling coins could trigger false responses than it probably isn't an ultrasonic device, is it?
bristolz, Jan 05 2005

       The old clickers relied on a single ultrasonic frequency for each function. If they used dual tones, then the reliability of operation might have been improved.
Ling, Jan 05 2005

       How about putting buttons on the TV set itself that could be controlled in a manual operator interface modality? It would look kind of freaky, I know, but people would get used to it, and I think that the idea of a TV set that actually responded to tactile input just might catch on. You could even use some sort of rotating controls for volume or tuning, thereby giving you a virtually unlimited number of increments....
Basepair, Jan 05 2005

       ... and a remote control to cause the TV to roll to you to use those controls.
FarmerJohn, Jan 05 2005

       ha ha ha.
But I have to agree with basepair here. I am constantly befuddled by TVs that dont work without remotes. I had to get rid of my last one because I lost the remote. I tried a variety of 'universal' remotes. Apparently the TV was not of this universe....
energy guy, Jan 05 2005

       This might work since remotes don't use much power, but it might not because remotes don't get shaken very much.   

       Assuming it would work, the obvious reason manufactures don't do this is cost. It's really cheap to put in a slot for two AA batteries and most people probably wouldn't be willing to pay enough extra for this feature.   

       So here's an idea: universal AA sized kinetic generators. They would come with a built in voltage regulator so they output 1.5 volts like a normal AA and possibly include a large capacitor or small battery to buffer the output. These battery alternatives might be useful for TV remotes, MP3 players worn by joggers, etc.
scad mientist, Jan 05 2005

       [scad mientist], glad to see you recovered from the Chernobyl disaster, your office was right next to the reactor, wasn't it? Your distinguished opinion is welcome here.
mensmaximus, Jan 05 2005

       6 meters for passive RFID? I want to see that documentation.
bristolz, Jan 05 2005

       Thanks, [longshot]. I had no idea passives could be read from a distance greater than about 12 inches.
bristolz, Jan 05 2005

       It wasn't an issue of being lied to but I did think that perhaps you were citing distances for active RFIDs which, of course, require a power supply.
bristolz, Jan 05 2005

       This is a logical question...you can buy kinetic flashlights now at Bed, Bath, and Beyond for like $9.99. Seems to me that this is the next logical step.
shapu, Jan 05 2005

       [shapu], how would the TV distinguish between the remote control flashlight and just an ordinary flashlight?
bristolz, Jan 05 2005

       [bristolz] - uhm...RFID tags?
shapu, Jan 05 2005

       Oh! Of course.
bristolz, Jan 05 2005

       [mensmaximus] Are you getting me confused with someone else, or did your comment contain some humor that I failed to grasp?   

       I would hardly consider my opinion "distinguished"...
scad mientist, Jan 05 2005

       If one were going to use an RFID-style system for remotes, there would be no need to have a separate RFID chip for each button; it would be fairly trivial to add inputs to the RFID chip which would change the code that it sent.   

       Unfortunately, reading a passive RFID device at a 6 meter range will require a big antenna on the RFID device (not really a problem) and a huge one on the reader. Additionally, the reader would have to be using a lot of power continuously, whether or not any buttons were pushed.   

       My general experience, though, is that most remotes use such a small amount of power (unless something mashes their buttons continuously) that a good set of alkalines will last for years.
supercat, Jan 06 2005

       "...it would be fairly trivial to add inputs to the RFID chip which would change the code that it sent."   

       This is true with a passive tag?
bristolz, Jan 06 2005

       Seems that you'd have to design the chip for this, but I don't see why you couldn't do this with physical switches that lead to different memory chips if nothing else.
Worldgineer, Jan 06 2005

       kinetic generators sized to replace AA batteries. Genious! [scad mientist] should post that as a separate idea. It would make this perpetual remote work, along with a perpetual pager, perpetual bike lights, etc.   

       The original idea here's great too. I don't think you'll have anyone mind having to move the remote around to charge it. Just put a little string on it and people couldn't resist swinging it around.
sophocles, Jan 06 2005

       On a related note, ambient AM radio waves can be harvested for enough power to operate a small earphone (in the days when there would be only one dominant AM radio station in many areas, people sometimes used crystal-diode radios which could operate without any other source of power). I wonder if any modern electronics could be efficient enough to harvest enough energy to operate a remote given typical levels of usage (e.gthree minutes per day drawing 48mW, i.e. an average of 208uW) I would think it probably wouldn't be possible to usefully harvest that much in most areas, but it would be interesting to know what could be achieved.
supercat, Jan 06 2005

       A combined radio wave harvester...
Only works when you tape your mobile telephone to it.
Ling, Jan 06 2005

       Since everybody now carries a mobile phone around, give each TV its own phone number.   

       You would change channel, etc, by dialling its number or sending an sms or whatever.
neelandan, Jan 06 2005

       Does any one remember friction cars? Where you would charge it up by pushing it repeatedly along the floor until the small fly wheel screamed like crazy. Then you would press the button which would reverse the mechanical connection and the flywheel would power the wheels.   

       You could make a device with a handle that when squeezed, revved up a small fly wheel/dynamo combination, when it was going nice and fast you could press the desired telly control to complete an electric circuit   

       Or what about static electric gas cooker lighters would they have enough oomph to power an ir led?
rambling_sid, Jan 06 2005

       Ah, a real hazard:   

       Kinetic chargers usually have strong permanent magnets in them. Just don't get a remote based on this too close to the TV (CRT based), or it'll warp the image.   

       This happened recently to me, when I set down my kinetic-charged flashlight next to the TV. Ouch!
sophocles, Oct 02 2007


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