This week, US Marines at the Experimental Forward Operating Base at Camp Pendleton, California, got to try out some prototypes of energy-generating equipment to keep combat electronics charged and ready. The verdict: back to the drawing board.
As Kit Up explains, the kinetic boot shown above was designed to turn each step into a tiny burst of energy that would go to charge battery operated equipment. But the Marines who tested the boot found it baulky and uncomfortable. "I felt that was a bit ridiculous. I felt like there are other ways, like better ways, to make energy than having something in your boot that's going to make energy," an unnamed Marine told Kit Up.
Other prototypes included kinetic backpacks and portable solar panels. With military personnel carrying an ever-increasing number of electronic devices, keeping batteries charged is an increasingly serious challenge. In civilian life, a dead battery means a brief pause in your tweeting and Instagramming, but on the battlefield dead equipment can have very serious consequences.
Let's just hope they can get that boot down to a fighting size. Armies may march on their stomachs, but they can't have clunky junk on their feet. [Kit Up!]
Image via Kit Up!