It's funny, really. We've figured out how to put men an women on the moon
and repair an orbiting telescope, but we can't concoct an AA battery that lasts more than four days inside a Teddy Ruxpin
. Thanks to a revolutionary new design from the labs at the University of St Andrews, all that could be well on the way to changin'. Researchers at said institution have teamed up with partners at Strathclyde and Newcastle in order to design an air-fuelled STAIR (St Andrews Air) cell that could theoretically last up to ten times longer than current batteries
. Put as simply as possible, this design utilizes oxygen in the air as a re-agent instead of heavy, costly chemicals; the result is a lighter, cheaper battery with loads more capacity. Needless to say, gurus within the project are already dreaming of a prototype to fit in small gizmos such as cellphones or MP3 players, though we wouldn't expect one anytime soon -- after all, there's still two years of research left to complete.