We love stories about energy on this show, and there have been so many interesting ones lately.

Powering smartphones with fruit, or by taking a walk.

Video game systems that are powered by mashing buttons.

And a way to generate electricity out of the moisture in the air.

Today we tell you about a battery that can stretch.


A team at the University of British Columbia took two battery components, zinc and manganese dioxide, and ground them into small pieces.

Then they embedded those pieces into multiple layers of stretchable plastic to make a working battery.

Wearable technology is growing more and more powerful and popular.

The researchers think a stretchable battery instead of a hard, solid one will make those devices more versatile, flexible, more usable.

There’s more: they say the zinc-manganese batteries are safer than lithium-ion batteries for wearable tech, and they’re cheaper.

And the way that the battery pieces are embedded into the rubbery material means that the batteries are waterproof.

They even tested this: the researchers ran the batteries through the washing machine 39 times, and they kept on working.

Winter isn’t the peak time for playing badminton, at least not where I live.

But on the International Space Station last month, three crew members got to play what they called orbital badminton.

They did pretty well, though it’s definitely a different game when gravity isn’t pulling the birdie down.

Scientists create the first stretchable and washable battery (designboom)

Video: Orbital badminton in 360 degrees (Phys.org)

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Photo: Kai Jacobson via The University of British Columbia