Researchers as the University of Texas Arlington (UTA) have developed working wind turbines which have a diameter of just 1.8mm! So small that 10 of them could fit on a grain of rice… but then you’d have an electric grain of rice… More exciting is the chance to form walls of them or cover the surface of robots used for search and rescue. The devices are durable and can withstand strong winds, they also have the advantage to being able to create power in very light winds which should show much more impressive efficiency figures than traditional turbines.
The blades of the turbine are made of a flexible nickel alloy which can actually be made at a relatively low cost. The device, which was designed by Smitha Rao and J.-C. Chiao was proven to work in September 2013 though more testing is need to find out how viable they will be.