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Purdue Researchers’ Wearable Liquid Unit Could Exploit Power

A movie showing liquid formula used to self-repair in robots has inspired a team of scientists to bring it to reality. The team from Purdue University is currently working towards developing an advanced version of self-powering devices including defense tools and consumer electronics. The team headed by Wenzhuo Wu has developed a new wearable technology that can help switch mechanical energy into electrical energy. The fundamental concept here is to make self-powered and human-integrated technologies.

The team created a liquid-metal-inclusion based triboelectric nanogenerator and named it as LMI-TENG. It is predicted that this triboelectric energy producing transducers or devices can help save mechanical energy and convert into power. This energy conservation method can help make a $480 Million market by 2028. The researchers have designed the latest device such that it can harvest and sense the slightest of the biomechanical signals emitted from the body and use it to produce power and control technological devices. In the LMI-TENG, two Ecoflex layers have a liquid metal layer incorporated within functional silicone sandwiched in the middle.

It has thus been proved that the liquid can be used to represent the form of anything that can be deformed and morphed into any shape. The current technique makes wearable electronics harness the wasted energy and convert it into energy that can manage and power electronic tools and devices which are further used in the consumer applications or military defenses. The present study helps carry out synergistic engineering of TENG components at the structural, material, and output levels. The basic idea is to use this Purdue technology to power many self-powered innovations like virtual reality, robotics, wearable sensors, advanced health care, pervasive computing, human-machine interfaces, user interfaces, teleoperation and the Internet of Things, and augmented reality. Researchers from the University of Tokyo have made a groundbreaking discovery that is making use of spintronics to replace electric currents in the electronic devices. The application of the magnetic spin Hall effect can increase speed, capacity, and lower power in devices with potential future applications.