New Ankle That Recycles Energy

Here’s a neat idea: a body part that uses itself to propel itself.


We developed a microprocessor-controlled artificial foot that captures some of the energy that is normally dissipated by the leg and “recycles” it as positive ankle work. In tests on subjects walking with an artificially-impaired ankle, a conventional prosthesis reduced ankle push-off work and increased net metabolic energy expenditure by 23% compared to normal walking. Energy recycling restored ankle push-off to normal and reduced the net metabolic energy penalty to 14%.

Link to Boing, link to original source.

Thanks Jeanette.

Idea for Christians: Carbon Fast for Lent

If you’re a christian who observes lent then consider going green for 40 days.

Repentance, reflection and self-discipline are supposed to be observed during Lent, which symbolizes the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert and resisted Satan’s temptations, as described in the Bible.

A green Lent could mean “thinking about the environment and doing things to save it for yourself and those who come after us,” said White-Hassler, whose church possesses the mind-set year-round. Since the summer, Grace Episcopal has been undergoing eco-friendly renovations and is considering solar panels.

The practice of a carbon fast for Lent has been talked about in Christian circles since at least 2008, when the Church of England suggested shrinking one’s carbon footprint and provided a list of 40 green actions, one for each day of Lent. (“Day one, Ash Wednesday: Remove one lightbulb and live without it for the next 40 days.”)

The call was part of a global effort with Tearfund, a Christian relief agency, to help drought-ridden, impoverished communities that already suffer from the effects of climate change.

Keep reading the article.

Estonia Cleans Up!

You probably didn’t hear about it, but in 2008 Estonia cleaned up 10,000 tons of trash in their forests by recruiting 50,000 people. How? Through an extensive media campaign and a good dose of networked collaboration.

The “Let’s Do It!” website is here, but in Estonian. So here’s a video in English!

Based on the success in Estonia, the campaign has gone worldwide!

Shipyards to Wind Farms

A proposal making the rounds in the UK calls for modifying shipyards (which aren’t doing so well in the current economy) into modern wind farms. A good reuse of industrial space.

On a visit to Newcastle, the Liberal Democrat leader said that disused shipyards should be upgraded to allow them to produce the new equipment.

Under a Lib Dem plan, all port authorities on the North Sea and Irish Sea would be able to bid for a share of a £400m pot to convert shipyards into wind turbine plants.

Clegg said: “We need to make sure we come out of this recession with a rebalanced and green economy.

“New offshore turbines, with blades the size of the London Eye, need to be built and launched from modern docks, so we need to upgrade our shipyards to take advantage of this massive opportunity.

“Just imagine the docks and shipyards along the coastline of Britain coming to life and leading the world in this new technology.

Keep reading at The Guardian.

Hydrogen Challenger: Sustainable Energy on the High Seas

The Hydrogen Challenger is a tanker ship that has gone from 20th century ideas to storing 21st century hydrogen energy.

Hydrogen Challenger

From Wikipedia:
Hydrogen Challenger is a 66 meter (216′ 6″) refitted coastal tanker for mobile hydrogen production, it is fitted with a vertical axis wind turbine that generates electricity for the electrolysis of water to fill the hydrogen storage tanks. The total storage and transportation capacity is 1,194 m³ (42,000 ft3), it is stationed in the German Bight or near Helgoland (where the most wind is) and docks in Bremerhaven where the produced hydrogen is delivered to the market.

Read some more at the Power Generation here.

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