Electricity from falling workers

3M recently received a patent (No. 11,260,252) for a safety harness that generates electrical power when a worker (wearing the harness) falls off a building.

Digging deeper into the patent, it becomes clear that 3M is imagining that if the safety harness is self-powered, it can readily transmit a help message. As opposed to it being battery-powered, which runs the risk of the battery being dead when needed.

Still, it's amusing to think of falling workers as the solution to the world's energy problems.
     Posted By: Alex - Wed May 04, 2022
     Category: Patents | Power Generation

It might seem a bit Rube Goldberg, but I see an actual need for something like this. When workers climb radio towers to do maintenance, there's supposed to be (per industry regs) someone on the ground watching them, but I've seen, more than once, the spotter make a coffee run when the guy was more than a hundred feet in the air.

We're a few decades past the prime time for such a thing, but I always wondered if it's possible to make a cord with piezoelectric properties so bungee jumpers could be hooked to the national grid.

Torture idea: if your subject has acrophobia, install coils of wire inside the outer casing of a skyscraper's glass elevator, strap magnets to their feet, and dump them down the shaft (sort of a reverse railgun). Their fear becomes your power.
Posted by Phideaux on 05/04/22 at 08:45 AM
"George, we're having a sales meeting this morning and there will be several PowerPoint presentations, push a couple of interns off the roof please."
Posted by wmenns on 05/10/22 at 09:52 PM
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