Stretchable Batteries Could Power Cyborg Future


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Researchers Yonggang Huang and John A. Rogers have created a lithium-ion battery that keeps on working when stretched to four times its initial length (and bounces back into shape once you let go.) In the future, stretchy batteries such as these could help power solar-energy generating clothes, tattoos that monitor your vital signs and also, to make robot skin sensitive for touch.

Huang and Rogers have demonstrated how the battery continues to work, powering a commercial light-emitting diode (LED), even when stretched, folded, twisted and mounted on a human elbow. The battery can work for eight to nine hours before it needs recharging, which can be done wirelessly. The new battery enables true integration of electronics and power into a small, stretchable package. Details will be published Feb. 26 by the online journal Nature Communications

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