Posted: November 25, 2015
"Energy parasites are handcrafted objects designed from scavenged parts to opportunistically harvest small bits of energy across public landscapes. Agnostic to energy origin or ownership, these artifacts redirect their captured energy through a variety of means including expressing it or storing it for later reacquisition and usage. Each parasite collects energy into a small 10 farad 2.5 volt super capacitor. This energy can be stored, expressed, or transferred to charge a mobile phone or other small electronic device."
Designer Eugénie de la Rivière recently launched a prototype of a very small robot that traces spoiled energy in public space. The robots, presented at the graduation show of the Design Academy in Eindhoven, are plugged into places where energy is wasted, such as warm air leaving a restaurant’s window, wind blowing around the corner of a huge building, or light shining through a window. This wasted energy is harvested by the robot and used to power the robot itself. This way the micro-robot doesn’t need any additional energy and is completely self sufficient. The robot also keeps track of the wasted of energy and monitors it. Together with all the other micro robots a map can be made that visualizes waste of energy in the city. The Dutch website Bright points to understandable concerns about the role of these micro-bots and privacy matters. This project, however, is about energy and it shows that it’s possible to re-use wasted energy in urban areas with small self-functioning robots.