Army wants to use soldiers’ boots to generate electricity
The US Army is investing over $16 million to generate electricity using the footsteps of Soldiers- and it could provide a much-needed weight reduction to troops on the ground.
With more electronics finding their way into the loadouts of Soldiers, the need to charge items has become a widespread problem in search of a solution.
To combat this issue, the Army is currently developing an insole that can generate electricity using the simplest mode of transportation- walking.
With each step, a small rotational level mechanism is manipulated, creating an electric charge.
“We embedded an energy-harvesting mechanism into a combat boot heel insole so that each time a soldier’s heel strikes it activates a generator, which spins to produce energy,” said Nathan Sharpes, the mechanical engineer who developed the patent.
“We improved the mechanism by making each step feel more natural versus the slight sinking motion soldiers experienced when using our previous version,” he added. “We also sped up the generator’s timing mechanism to produce energy for longer than the previous version, which is a positive direction to achieve harvester efficiency.”
According to the Army Times, the Army is also working on a “kinetic knee harvester” that will use the motion of the Soldier’s knees to create the current.
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