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It may not be a particularly glamorous definition of the automobile, but it's true on some level that cars and trucks are individual little power generators on wheels, a fact pointed out here by WIRED staff writer Alexis Madrigal. Interestingly, when viewed in that light, the United States has an embarrassment of riches in overall latent power availability.

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 Japa