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Hello Kitty Power!

One of the reasons, I spend most of my time walking the back walls of major trade shows like CES is the hidden gems found there. Startups or international suppliers can’t afford the mega-booths of the major players. My favorite find this year was U Power generators.

poto by Robert S. Anthony

I’m strolling along and see a large replica of “Hello Kitty” with a guy pumping away on a dual hand crank. It’s Danny Hu of Porng da – Enterprise Co., Ltd., In Taiwan. The hand generator can store enough battery power to charge most small electronic devices such as cell phones, game consoles and laptops. Next to the kitty were several  exercise bikes. But what looked like high-tech gym equipment was, in fact, a device to power up a much larger generator.

Hunman powered Generator

These batteries could run power tools and electricity in a small house. I do a lot of technology consulting in developing nations and a major problem is infrastructure. It’s no good to donate a tractor to a rural community if there are no spare parts to repair it when it breaks down. I pointed this out to Mr. Huhe who said that any old bicycle could run the generator. The models on display had readouts to indicate how much power was in the generator and how much more pedaling it would take to bring the unit to full power. Since the batteries can snap in and out, the purchase of additional batteries could guarantee power as long as someone was around to keep pedaling. Infrastructure simplified. Unfortunately, as of CES, there were no US distributors for U Power. Just a reminder, there are rural communities in the US which are just as disconnected from the grid as communities in  rural Tanzania.

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