Wind power is one of the most sustainable, efficient sources of alternative energy. Its predominant vehicle, however, isn't without flaws – wind turbines contribute to noise pollution, pose a danger to birds and other species of the skies, displace land from other uses, and are virtually impossible to implement in densely populated metropolitan areas. Now, engineers at Cornell University have developed Vibro-Wind – a revolutionary panel of 25 pads that oscillate in the wind and produce electricity from each vibration.
With funding from the Atkinson Center's Academic Venture Funding grant program for multidisciplinary research, the project aims to harvest the kinetic energy from these panels mounted on the sides and roof of a building and use it to power the building's operations.
Inspired by the way tree leaves tremble when a gust of air passes through, the technology is yet another inspired example of the increasingly important field of biomimicry.
Maria Popova is the editor of Brain Pickings, a curated inventory of miscellaneous interestingness. She writes for Wired UK, GOOD Magazine, Design Observer and Huffington Post, and spends a shameful amount of time on Twitter.