MIT News - October 10, 2010

October 10, 2010

Express Lanes for IONS

Actuators are devices that convert electrical energy into mechanical energy, such as the battery-powered device inside a cell phone that causes the phone to vibrate. When this process is reversed — when a device converts mechanical energy into electrical energy — the device is called an energy harvester, and that electrical energy is often stored for future use. An example would be a device inside a pacemaker that converts mechanical energy created by the motion of a pair of breathing lungs into electrical energy that can be used to charge the pacemaker’s batteries.