Disney has a knack for making the mundane magical, whether it's transforming a pumpkin into a carriage or a few sheets of paper into a generator. The team from Disney Research accomplished the latter by constructing a simple mechanism with a few low-cost items, like Teflon, conductive adhesives, wires and silver-coated polyester (though paper printed with conductive ink will also work). The negatively charged Teflon sheet functions as an electret, a material capable of holding a quasi-permanent electrical charge; by sandwiching it between either the polyester or conductive paper, you can produce enough voltage to light up a small LED array, create animations on e-paper displays, or trigger animations on connected computers. Using the generator is simple: all you have to do is rub or tap the paper, say, "Bibbidi-bobbidi-boo," and you're all set (the magic word is optional). To see it with your own two eyes, check out the video after the break.
Disney Research makes paper cool again by turning it into a generator (video)
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