By Andrew Liszewski
Sure breathing keeps us alive but other than that it’s really wasted energy. Thankfully Instructables member ‘jmengel’ has cooked up a clever device that uses the expanding motion of your chest to power a charger for USB devices.
His original design used a parallel array of tiny pager motors to generate electricity from breathing but since your chest only expands about an inch it required a considerable amount of effort to generate a useful voltage. His new and improved design relies on the gearing and low-torque, high-RPM motor from an old CDROM drive in conjunction with a few other electronics and an elastic band from a broccoli stalk. Definitely homebrew at its finest here.
The project requires a wide range of ‘maker’ skills but if you think you’re up to the task you can find his detailed instructions posted on Instructables.