Introducing the First Vehicle Powered by Evaporation

Introducing the First Vehicle Powered by Evaporation

See how the toy car works

 




5W Infographics; SOURCE: “SCALING UP NANOSCALE WATER-DRIVEN ENERGY CONVERSION INTO EVAPORATION-DRIVEN ENGINES AND GENERATORS,” BY XI CHEN ET AL., IN NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, VOL. 6, ARTICLE NO. 7346; JUNE 16, 2015

The first vehicle powered by evaporation frequently zooms along a laboratory bench these days at Columbia University. The 100-gram car relies on spore-coated tapes that expand and contract like tiny muscles as they move through environments of varying humidity. It can take up to 10 minutes to cross a table at the moment, but the biologists, chemists and engineers on the project think upgrades to the engine could enable it to power a wide range of technologies, including robotics systems and generators. For now the focus is on the small: another prototype can power two tiny LED lights.


Click to enlarge. 5W Infographics; SOURCE: “SCALING UP NANOSCALE WATER-DRIVEN ENERGY CONVERSION INTO EVAPORATION-DRIVEN ENGINES AND GENERATORS,” BY XI CHEN ET AL., IN NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, VOL. 6, ARTICLE NO. 7346; JUNE 16, 2015. 

This article was originally published with the title “Water, Water Everywhere.”

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