Marines with 1st Reconnaissance Battalion test out the PowerWalk, just one exhibit of energy saving gear at Camp Pendleton’s ExFOB14. The PowerWalk harnesses energy as the user walks, charging batteries and other devices. The PowerWalk may look like a brace, but reviews showed it actually made walking less of a chore while not restricting movement.
Modern armed forces are becoming more dependent on technology. In particular, the dismounted soldier is increasingly reliant upon portable electronic devices – night vision goggles, small arms laser pointers, laser range finders, GPS, communication devices, personal flashlights and other devices that are essential for soldier safety and effectiveness. Portable power is beginning to be treated with the same “combat supply” priority as water, food, and ammunition. As a result, on a 72-hour mission, soldiers can carry as much as 13 kg of batteries to power this equipment – significantly limiting their range and speed of travel. A number of militaries have acknowledged that this weight is a limiting factor to mission duration and success.
Bionic Power’s first product – the PowerWalk
While weight savings can be substantial for longer missions, the cost savings are substantial for missions of any duration. Depending on distance, the cost of getting a $0.30 battery to a soldier “in theatre” is between $3 and $30 due mainly to logistical costs. For a soldier’s typical duty day, the PowerWalk
An additional benefit for the dismounted soldier is the maintenance of the supply chain. A constant supply of primary batteries is required to keep the dismounted soldiers operational, and a disruption of this supply chain puts the mission at risk. The PowerWalk
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