Researchers and scientists are working around the globe to find new and novel ways to generate the power needed to operate sensors and devices for all sorts of needs. Researchers at Georgia Tech including professor Manos Tentzeris, Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering professor, have developed a very interesting new way to harvest electromagnetic energy using a wearable sensor printed using common ink jet technology.
Tentzeris says that there is a huge amount of electromagnetic energy all around us, but we can't currently tap into that power source. Tentzeris and his team have created a wearable energy-scavenging sensor that also includes integrated antennas and is printed onto paper of flexible polymers. The result of the printing process creates a self-powered wireless sensor that could be used for defense and industrial applications as chemical, biological, heat, and stress sensing.
The researchers say that experiments using their sensors and TV bands of electromagnetic energy have created power amounting to hundreds of microwatts. Multiband systems based on the technology will be able to creates a single milliwatt or more. That doesn't sound like much power, but it would be enough to operate small electronic devices like sensors or microprocessors.