We’re all familiar with the old joke about ‘putting another hamster on the treadmill’ to speed up a system or process. But, now, thanks to researchers at the University of Georgia, some folks aren’t laughing as loudly as they used to.


Experiments by a team at Georgia University’s Nano Research Group have demonstrated that hamsters can generate usable power when running on their exercise wheels.

The secret is dressing them in a little jacket equipped with a nanogenerator that converts their biomechanical energy output to electricity.

Team leader Dr. Zhong Lin Wang told reporters that the project’s first, single-hamster ‘proof of concept’ experiment produced only a small amount of power — about one twentieth of the output of a standard AA battery. At that rate, it would take about 1,000 hamsters working in concert, to power the average cell phone.

But the good doctor is confident that the technology can be improved and could be fited to human clothing within five years.

Meanwhile, marvel at this video clip of the team’s original hamster generator experiment…

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