Bionic Power makes wearable technology for charging batteries. Today, we are focused on developing our PowerWalk® Kinetic Energy Harvester for military use and will begin multi-unit field trials with the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps next year. In the future, we see our walk-recharge technology being used in disaster zones and remote worksites, and by consumers in recreational, emergency preparedness and backup applications.
Kinetic Energy Harvester
Designed by us, powered by people, the PowerWalk enables users to produce 10-12 watts of power as they walk. Over the course of an hour, walking at a comfortable pace, users wearing a harvester on each leg can generate enough power to charge up to four smart phones.
How does it work?
The light-weight PowerWalk harvester is designed to generate electricity from the natural action of walking, in much the same way regenerative braking works in hybrid cars. With every stride, the harvester’s on-board microprocessors analyze the wearer’s gait to determine precisely when to generate maximum power with the least amount of effort.
The PowerWalk’s gearbox converts the knee’s rotational speed to a higher speed for efficient power generation and a generator converts the mechanical power produced into electrical power. A state-of-the-art power-conversion circuit then converts the electricity to recharge Li-ion or NiMH batteries.
The PowerWalk delivers uninterrupted, life-saving power in the field for communications, navigation and optics. In military applications, this represents a physical and figurative weight off a soldier’s back.
Always two steps ahead, the PowerWalk’s onboard microprocessors analyze walking gait, speed and terrain to determine the best timing and resistance to generate the maximum amount of power with the least amount of user effort.
Designed to accommodate a person’s full range of motion, with no impact to mobility or agility, the PowerWalk works for the wearer every step of the way. On level ground, the harvester requires minimal effort. And, while power generation is its primary benefit, the PowerWalk also reduces muscle fatigue during downhill walking, easing metabolic effort and reducing the potential for injuries.
Reduced Risk and Costs
The walk-recharge capability of the PowerWalk mitigates the risks and costs of using batteries in the field: smaller environmental footprint, reduced need for soldiers and others to carry backups, and fewer logistical challenges associated with battery replacement and resupply.
- U.S. Army, Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center
A soldier typically carries 16-20 lbs. in batteries on a 72-hour mission. If a soldier can generate 10-12 watts of power while wearing energy harvesting devices, we can potentially reduce the soldier’s load, reduce the logistics tail and the unit’s reliance on field resupply, and extend the duration and effectiveness of the mission.
Reduce the battery weight soldiers carry, increase mission duration and effectiveness and move troops toward power independence
Power the essential communication and navigation equipment used by those working in disaster zones and remote locations
Provide a viable portable-power alternative for consumers for recreational, emergency preparedness and emergency backup applications
General and Field Trial Inquiries
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Bionic Power is beginning multi-unit field trials with the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps in 2017. Contact us via the form or email to inquire about military field testing opportunities.