Researchers at Harvard's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, along with researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign used 3-D printers to create the world's smallest battery. These batteries could easily become the new power source for micro and nano-electronics.
Imagine radio trackers on insects, or centimeter sized robots that could perform surgery. While the technology of the battery has been around for a long time, this new application for the amazing world of 3-D printing opens up a whole new array of possibilities in the engineering world.
Now the problem won't just be to find the batteries that aren't dead, it will be to find the batteries!
And as long as we are talking about the world's smallest battery... I suppose we should say something about the world's largest battery (complex). This football field sized battery array from China can store 36 Megawatts of electricity and cost some $500 million dollars. It's goal is to store electricity from the solar and wind power-generating facilities and be able to make it available as needed. So it could store enough electricity to power 20,000 homes for 1 day here in Maine. While this is still an expensive solution, we can expect, as with all technologies, that the price will likely come down as the systems become more standardized, rather than one-of-a-kind constructions.