While the Japanese are know for their manga
depicting giant-fighting robots powered by unwilling human "batteries", the East Japan Railway Company is taking a less horrific but no less innovative approach in using humans for power. Sibling blog Engadget
posts that the company has installed special ticket gates at its train stations that generate electricity as people go to and fro to their trains. Special plates on the floor generate the power from the pressure and vibration of thousands of Japanese. The resultant electricity is then stored in special batteries. Busy stations, especially, hold large reserves of power. The power is then used to provide additional power to the station.
All we in AutoblogGreen can think is how much power would have been generated if the ticket gates had been installed in the Super Bowl or, heaven help us, World Cup stadiums.
[Source: Chunichi Shimbun via Slashdot Japan via Pink Tentacle via Engadget. Whew!
In-road ramp-powered electric generators being tested