Bionic Power Inc

Stan Megraw
23 January 2012

There’s a small Canadian company that wants to transform us into human battery chargers.

Bionic Power Inc (BPI) in Burnaby BC has developed the Biomechanical Energy Harvester, a device that that looks like an orthopedic knee brace. It works on the same principal a hybrid car uses to generate energy during braking.

When walking, we’re constantly speeding up and slowing down (i.e. accelerating and decelerating). By fitting the knee brace with a generator, the researchers at BPI have found a way to convert mechanical energy into electrical energy whenever the swing of the leg slows.

Although still under development, the early results are promising. Walking at a normal pace, volunteers have been able to generate about 5 watts of energy- enough to power 10 cell phones.

Commercial production is at least a year away. Potential markets are military and medical applications, as well as consumer products (iPods, MP3 players, etc).

[Company Website] [Product Review] [Video]

Stan Megraw

Stan is a writer/researcher, a PhD graduate of McGill University and was a member of the CurioCity team for several years. As a kid he dreamed of playing hockey in the NHL then becoming an astronaut with NASA. Instead, he ended up as an environmental research scientist. In his spare time Stan enjoys working on DIY projects, cooking and exploring his Irish roots.


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