Electricity-Generating Backpack

Image: Lightning Packs

Lightning Packs is a company that is developing backpacks that generate electricity with the motion of their users. As the user walks, the spring-mounted backback bounces slightly, turning a gear on a generator. It is the brainchild of Lawrence C. Rome of the University of Pennsylvania, who hopes to market his idea to the U.S. military:

"Soldiers now carry GPS receivers, night vision goggles, headlamps, communication devices, and more. And with this technology, means of powering them becomes critical. Soldiers carry eighty pound backpacks, up to twenty pounds of which are spare batteries. Now, with the Suspended Load Backpack, electricity can be generated to power the equipment directly or to charge a lightweight rechargeable battery," Dr. Rome said.

When walking, the Suspended Load Backpack can generate up to 7.4 watts, more than enough power to simultaneously power an MP3 player, night vision goggles (or 3 LED headlamp), a PDA, a CMOS image decoder, a handheld GPS, Bluetooth, and a GSM terminal in talk mode.

Link via Gizmodo (where there's a video)

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Okay- A bouncing pack that weighs...How much...? The construction that is pictured there looks like it weighs at least 40 pounds on it's own. So that would bring the total equal weight on ...120 pounds or something...?

...Perhaps for the time being better keep sticking with spare batteries........
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Neat idea, but 30 seconds of winding a clock work generator can produce almost as much electricity for an hour, I suspect that this will not be very popular.
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Good work identifying a source of energy but as a climber/hiker/guide I can promise you the last thing a person will want to wear is a pack that bounces, even little bit, and frame packs hold the load out from your body which can make the load more uncomfortable and seem heavier too.
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