Human Power vs. Hamster Power

I’ve been working on a human power for kinetic art so a post on hamster power in the Ottawa Robotics online community drew my attention.

According to the post, a hamster can produce .15 Watts peaking at .45. That’s more than I expected. Humans are around 75 Watts so that means it would take 500 hamsters to match a human at that rate. Hey wait… if a hamster is 3-5 ounces (I googled it), then it’s the expected wattage. (At 4 ounces they are a quarter pound so a 120lb human should be equivalent to 480 hamsters).

I have had the occasional thought about trying to get Squirrels to run on hamster wheels. It’s not much power but at least the energy source is your garbage which is waste anyway (okay, they may be eating your neighbors’ garbage too. And I once saw a Squirrel eating a nut from a tree). They use some of the calories from your garbage to spread the rest of your garbage around your yard.

Perhaps they could be coaxed into using some of the left-over calories from your garbage to run a wheel. 🙂

One thought on “Human Power vs. Hamster Power

  1. Here’s the post I added to the ORE list:

    It’s pretty interesting. The article mentions .15 Watts sustained. A hamster weighs 4 ounces so it takes 500 of them to come up to human weight. So a human sized hamster would give us:

    500 x .15 Watts = 75 Watts

    That’s the typical sustained output for a person (1/10th of a horsepower).

    Hmmmm, the numbers are pretty idea. I wonder if they really took measurements. 🙂

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