A gas turbine engine small enough to hold in one hand has been developed, by a Tohoku University-led study group in Japan.

The gas turbine engine is equipped with a compressor with a 16mm diameter vane, turbine with a 17mm diameter vane and combustor and it is the first time in the world that such a small turbine has been operated, demonstrating the complete cycle.

Gas turbines produce more energy than rechargeable batteries of the same size and do not need to be charged and can be continuously operated by providing fuel. The study group is working toward the practical use of the products as power sources of autonomous robots for disaster rescue and relief and personal transportation vehicles in the Japanese society.

The group consists of members of Tohoku University, IHI Corp., Tohoku Gakuin University, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Technology and the University of Tokyo