> Energy harvester makes TIME 'best invention' list

Energy harvester makes TIME 'best invention' list

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Max Donelan, 604.992.4986 (cell); max_donelan@sfu.ca
Yad Garcha, CEO, Bionic Power, 778.330.4217; 604.323.6265 (cell)
Marianne Meadahl, PAMR, 778.782.4323


October 30, 2008
Yes
Time magazine is honoring an innovative device from Simon Fraser University that harvests energy from the ordinary motion of walking, calling it one of the Best 50 Inventions of 2008.
 
The Bionic Energy Harvester - created by SFU biomedical physiologist Max Donelan and his research team and developed by Bionic Power, an SFU technology spinoff company - represents a significant advance in the emerging field of portable power.
 
The device is "perhaps the most promising in a class of products that harvest energy - all the more important at a time when portable tech, from Blackberries to iPods, is becoming ubiquitous," reports the magazine's latest edition.

"We've poured our hearts and minds into this project for years," says Donelan, who is also Bionic Power's chief science officer. "We're truly honored to rub shoulders on this list with some of the world's leading researchers, thinkers and innovators."

The wearable, lightweight device -- formerly called the Biomechanical Energy Harvester -- resembles a slim-profile orthopedic knee brace. 
Without adding any noticeable effort on the part of the wearer, a pair of the devices working together will passively extract up to 13 watts of power -one minute of walking will generate about half an hour of talking on a mobile phone.

Yad Garcha, the company's chief executive officer, says the technology is really about freedom. "Bionic Power has taken this invention out of the lab," he adds. "Every day we move closer to the goal of turning this great idea into a product that will improve the lives of soldiers, first responders, users of mobile medical devices, and other people whose lives depend upon portable power."

The device attracted international media attention last February after it was featured in the academic journal Science.

Photo available on request.