Cool article. I wonder, though, whether the gadget on the boot makes walking harder. I also wonder how the energy is stored between the time it is generated by the walking and the time it is transferred to a particular device. Any thoughts on that Pat?
This boot is at the nexus of necessity and utility. Our soldiers sorely need a recharging solution for their many comms devices. I've read -- I think it was in book like Generation Kill and also War by Sebastian Junger (or maybe it was on the Military Channel) -- that our troops in Afganistan and Iraq, particularly those in Humvees, have had to get their own Duracells sent from home in care packages because their lack of access to recharging was such a problem. So this solution, if it can move from research to implementation, will be extremely useful.
Wow, it's amazing when you actually think about the number of high-tech devices that the typical soldier carries and what kind of added weight that translates to in their packs. The biomechanical energy harvesting idea seems promising. I would think the typical solider engages in enough movement and activity during the day to harvest and create a sufficient amount of energy for this technology to really have an impact.
What should be the perception of a product’s real-world performance with regard to the published spec sheet? While it is easy to assume that the product will operate according to spec, what variables should be considered, and is that a designer obligation or a customer responsibility? Or both?
Biomimicry has already found its way into the development of robots and new materials, with researchers studying animals and nature to come up with new innovations. Now thanks to researchers in Boston, biomimicry could even inform the future of electrical networks for next-generation displays.
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