Here is something you don’t hear every day: scientists invent pee-powered socks that can generate enough electricity to support a Wi-Fi transmitter. The new invention is meant to bring progress in wearable electronics and biological fuels, researchers have explained.
Science has come such a long way that we are rarely amazed when we hear about new inventions. Yet, researchers from the University of the West of England have done it again. They have surprised us with the announcement of the first pair of pee-powered socks.
Scientists explained that they chose this particular piece of garment because generating electricity from urine can only be done by applying pressure on the liquid. Consequently, they chose socks because the pressure would be applied by the wearer’s feet while walking.
Now how does the invention work? Apparently, the socks have silicon tubes attached to a bladder-like bag. The former conduct the urine aka liquid to the ankle side of the socks. These microbial fuel cells can retain approximately 640 milliliters of urine, whose bacteria is later on, converted into electricity through the constant pressure applied by the foot.
Once the invention has been created, scientists went on to test all its possible applications. They have, thus, proven that this particular volume of urine can power a mobile phone or a Wi-Fi router for a couple of minutes.
The invention may sound interesting to some users, whereas others might simply fail to see its purpose. Scientists are aware that such devices won’t be available on the market anytime soon, but they are, nevertheless, glad such research has widened their horizons. In the future, they will work to perfect the pee-powered socks and even find more popular uses for them.
Research in wearable electronics will not stop here. Scientists will continue to make experiments and investigations to find new human cells that could be turned into electricity. As unpleasant as it may seem, we could soon see feces being turned into electricity.
Some scientists were not impressed with the recent invention. They think the explanation that researchers have provided is too confusing because we are not told how the urine is conducted into the socks.
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