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Walkabout Generator

For your portable electronic gadgets
(+1, -1)
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You've probably seen those flashlights advertised that have a built-in generator; you shake the flashlight for several seconds, and it charges a little battery that then powers the light.

The type of generator is a simple coil of wire, through which a magnet reciprocates as the flashlight is shaken. There also is some electronics, such as a "bridge rectifier", to do things like turn alternating current into direct current, and so on, but this doesn't take up much space.

Let's take the generator out of the flashlight and attach it to your leg. More specifically, it should be horizontally mounted next to your ankle. It can be smaller than the one in the flashlight, and there can be two, one for each ankle. Total weight will likely be less than half-a kilogram (about one pound).

When you walk, the start-stop jerky motion of your ankles, relative to the ground, will be sufficient to cause the small magnets to reciprocate inside the horizontal (relative to ground when foot at rest) coils. Wires lead from the generators, sprialing decoratively up your legs to a waist-mounted electronics/battery package.

Your plug your iPod or other gadget into that waist-mounted package, of course. And start walking.

Vernon, Jan 16 2007

Similar Pendulum
[angel, Jan 16 2007]


       [+] As an alternative to using the jerky motion of the ankles generating current, if one were to magnetise one's trousers, mightn't wires sewn into those trousers induce a current as one stepped one leg in front of the other?
zen_tom, Jan 16 2007

       you can add hydralics to all the joints to have any motion generate power. Much like the suits worn on "Dune". it will add some resistance to motion, but we can do with the excerise.
the great unknown, Jan 16 2007

       Old [rayfo] mused on a related theme some time ago (linky).
angel, Jan 16 2007

       They covered this in PopSci sometime last year.
Galbinus_Caeli, Jan 16 2007

       I've seen a cellphone charger for sale that works in a similar way. It's a ball about the size of a tennis ball with a wire coming out. You plug the wire into the mobile and drop it into your bag or pocket and it charges as you walk.   

       In fact, why not add a miniature similar kind of charger into the phone itself, or into a leather belt case. We tend to carry them all day, we might as well make some use of the energy.
webfishrune, Jan 19 2007


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