Army developing a power-generating backpack

Army researchers are continuing apace with work that could one day lighten soldiers’ loads by letting them get the power they need without carrying extra batteries. Instead, they would generate power from their backpacks just by walking.

The prototype Energy Harvesting Backpack, being tested at the Army Research Laboratory, adds a two-spring frame to a standard assault pack that moves up and down when the wearer is walking or running, generating power from the motion that recharges a soldier’s battery, ARL said in a release.

The prototype, which is being tested at ARL’s Soldier Performance and Equipment Advanced Research (SPEAR) at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., also holds the pack in a controlled motion, as opposed to bouncing around when running like a typical backpack would, which could reduce fatigue while on a mission.

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