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New Twist on Power Walking

CowboyNeal posted more than 8 years ago | from the portable-offices dept.

Power 253

An anonymous reader writes "Carrying a newly designed backpack loaded with between 44 and 84 pounds of gear, users generate enough electricity to simultaneously power an MP3 player, a PDA, night vision goggles, a handheld GPS, a CMOS image decoder, a GSM terminal in talk mode, and Bluetooth."

cancel ×

253 comments

Ob Snow Crash reference (4, Funny)

richie2000 (159732) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517202)

- You're a gargoyle [metaweb.com] .

Re:Ob Snow Crash reference (1)

EddyPearson (901263) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517414)

what a pointless thing to create, i certainly dont think im alone only when i say that i dont want to be the first walking power station. This is just another on of those WTF?

Re:Ob Snow Crash reference (1)

superiority (892798) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517468)

Yeah, who likes not paying for batteries anyway? I know that I love spending monvey on small items that I need all the time, rather than walking.

Re:Ob Snow Crash reference (1)

greenhide (597777) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517635)

I'd gladly pay for batteries every month or so, so long as it means not having to lug around a 40lb backpack.

Re:Ob Snow Crash reference (1)

Ulven (679148) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517496)

..."the Suspended-load Backpack, a piece of gear that will one day enable field scientists, hikers, explorers, soldiers, and disaster workers to convert mechanical energy generated by walking with a heavy load on their backs into electricity." Doesn't seem pointless to me.

Re:Ob Snow Crash reference (1)

bkr1_2k (237627) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517662)

That's because you're not carrying one.

bkr

Re:Ob Snow Crash reference (4, Informative)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517564)

I think you missed the point. After RTFA the gear between 40lbs-80lbs is your normal gear that you will take in a backpack. Clothing, Tent, Sleeping Bag, Towel, Toiletries, Oder Free Soap, Pocket Knife, First Aid Kit, Cooking pans, Fire starter kit, Water, food. All this combined could make the pack easily 50-80 lbs. the article never gave the weight to the pack when it was empty but they did state it did help you carry yourself better thus making the load more efficient.

Re:Ob Snow Crash reference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13517459)

Am I the only one who read the title as "Wanking"?

Re:Ob Snow Crash reference (1)

Sinus0idal (546109) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517543)

yes

84 pounds to power devices? (2, Funny)

cwtrex (912286) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517208)

might be worth it for over weight kids that want to power their game boy while walking for a change ...

I suppose it'll help build muscle too lol

Re:84 pounds to power devices? (3, Funny)

OllieG (887525) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517225)

According to TFA, the backpack changes a walker's gait so that they actually walk more efficiently, so maybe not! Shame for all the fat kids, though.

Re:84 pounds to power devices? (1)

hattig (47930) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517430)

Sounds like this backpack is trying to devolve us back into knuckle-dragging apes, albeit apes with GPS navigation, night vision and personal data management capabilities.

Re:84 pounds to power devices? (5, Interesting)

timeOday (582209) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517359)

Unfortunately, dismounted infantry have to carry around heavy backpacks most of the time, see for instance [smh.com.au] :
A typical operation lasts for five or six days in the field, requiring each man to bring 22 litres of water, ammunition and packs that can weigh up to 90 kilograms, along with an M-4 carbine and a 9mm sidearm. Other missions can go on for 10 days.
More and more, batteries only add to the problem... recycling some of the walking energy to reduce the need for batteries is a fantastic idea, getting it to actually work is even better.

Maybe next they can reduce the need to carry water by recycling urine!

Re:84 pounds to power devices? (1)

bezgin (785861) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517522)

This kind of sounds like freeman suits.. they could use electricity gained from walking to recycle urine to water.

kinda cool... lots of uses... (1)

John Seminal (698722) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517610)

a piece of gear that will one day enable field scientists, hikers, explorers, soldiers, and disaster workers to convert mechanical energy generated by walking

This reminds me of a watch a friend had. It did not use batteries. It worked off the movement of his wrist/hand. He said the watch somehow converted kinetic energy into power for the watch. The watch was always fast, we suspected he masturbated too much.

But a backpack that will produce enough juice to run electronics. WOW!!

A while back, a friend went to Isle Royale, a primitive island off northern Michigan. He said a boat went there once a day, in the morning, and once it left, you were stuck on the island. No toilets, no running water, no nothing but wild wolves and a thick forrest. There was no doctor, no police, no anything. But people went there to hike and camp. He said in 6 days of deep hiking, he only ran into 2 other hikers.

Now imagine how portable batteries that charge off movement would change things...

He could take his cell phone with him, and know it would not die. So if work needed to call, they could. He could take his laptop, so for those insomniac nights he could catch up on work.

I dunno, when I go hiking, I take food and water. I don't think I would want 80 pounds of batteries on my back.

The usefullness of batteries would be on a truck. Toss a ton of batteries and generators on a truck, because the extra weight won't mean anything. But for a human, 80 pounds is a lot of extra weight if you also want to carry water.

That would make you (5, Funny)

silasthehobbit (626391) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517209)

A walking target for muggers. Or if you went on the London Underground with it, increase your likelihood of being shot by the Met Police exponentially

Re:That would make you (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517215)

You can do that just by being from Brazil.

Re:That would make you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13517234)

I think you mean you can do that by being any colour darker than bright white.

Re:That would make you (1)

bladernr (683269) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517354)

I think you mean you can do that by being any colour darker than bright white.

Do you think its contradiction to you or merely irony that the newly crowned Miss England is dark-skinned, Muslim, and Asian.

Other than the US and UK, can you imagine any other country being so open and tolerant that someone the locals wouldn't call "native" would get to be Miss <Fill in the Country>. (yes, I know the white people in the US aren't the natives.. I said "someone the locals...").

Seriously. Would India ever have a white, English Miss India? Can you imagine Brazil having a black African as Miss Brazil? Would the French seriously have anyone, well, not "of French stock" (to use their phrase).

I've been living in the UK (London) for almost a year, and I'm the first to talk about the shocking crime rate, but, come on, it's a long stretch to say the shooting proves an intolerent country, or even an intolerant police force.

Miss Brasil (1)

hummassa (157160) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517442)

A black African-typed woman was miss Brasil once in the mid-80s and once again in the mid-90s. Miss Brasil are normally the not-really-common-down-here blond-and-or-fair-skinned types. Nothing to see here. You are wrong.

Re:Miss Brasil (1)

bladernr (683269) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517454)

Nothing to see here. You are wrong.

Perhaps about Brazil - I've never been, so I knew I was out on a limb. You've corrected me. But it've spents lots of time (months) in both India and France, and I stick by my claims very firmly on those.

Re:Miss Brasil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13517611)

You could check your facts before claiming such idiocy.

Are those two of "French stock" ?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mareva_Galanter [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonia_Rolland [wikipedia.org]

Not that I'm really convinced that this is very representative of the tolerance of a country...

I, being french, would be the first to admit that there is a lot of intolerance in France, but I'm really, really, not sure that US or UK are any better on this subject.

Re:That would make you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13517526)

Ummm, the head of the Opposition Party, in INDIA, is a "white", Italian woman, by the name of Sonia Gandhi. Go look it up on Wikipedia. And get over yourself. The US and UK don't have a monopoly on freedom, democracy or openness. But they're the ones who kick and scream the most when human rights are violated in other countries. Then they go and commit those same violations. Abu Ghraib, Brazillians being killed in cold blood with 5 bullets. Nobody questions the openness of either America or Britain. But we do take issue when you start pointing fingers at the rest of the world, when you still need to get your own house in order, in some cases. Frankly, the "Dark" Miss England could be viewed as appeasement, or affirmative action - which is not my point, but it well could be somebody else's.

Re:That would make you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13517338)

...well running from armed police when they asked you to stop. He was asking for it. Running from the police is one thing, running from armed police is another!

Re:That would make you (4, Informative)

isorox (205688) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517378)

Except they were wearing plain clothes, did not shout "police, stop!", he didn't run until after he'd picked up a newspaper, walked through the ticket bararier, and saw a train about to leave, same as any other london commuter

Re:That would make you (3, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517531)

Except they were wearing plain clothes, did not shout "police, stop!", he didn't run until after he'd picked up a newspaper, walked through the ticket bararier, and saw a train about to leave, same as any other london commuter

And the cop who had him pinned was as surprised as anybody else when the shots started.

And the shooter fired (apparently) an entire load. That's panic, not the work of a professional.

Re:That would make you (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517634)

And the shooter fired (apparently) an entire load. That's panic, not the work of a professional.

Sounds like he'll never get close to a firearm again.

Re:That would make you (2, Informative)

PeeAitchPee (712652) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517550)

Except they were wearing plain clothes, did not shout "police, stop!", he didn't run until after he'd picked up a newspaper, walked through the ticket bararier, and saw a train about to leave, same as any other london commuter

That's not what eyewitnesses said the day of the shooting immediately after it happened. [cnn.com] But you're absolutely right -- I have no doubt that what the British press has reported on the matter is completely unbiased, especially after the Daily Mirror last year made up the story about British soldiers pissing on Iraqi prisoners [mirror.co.uk] and either fabricated (probably) or used obviously fake photographic evidence.

Re:That would make you (2, Informative)

nfk (570056) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517615)

You're a bit behind on the news.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,165960,00.html [foxnews.com]

I don't know if the final report came out yet, so I'm not sure this is the official version. Google around and you will find more.

Re:That would make you (1)

PeeAitchPee (712652) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517720)

It has nothing to do with me being "a bit behind the news" and everything to do with what eyewitnesses -- people who actually saw the incident -- said they saw *immediately* after it occured. I'm aware that several of these folks have revised their statements but the power of suggestion can be incredible, especially after weeks of massive 24/7 media coverage of the event and a rabid anti-Blair faction clammoring to blame him for just about everything. Do you really think that some of them weren't eventually pressured into saying whatever the press wanted them to say?

I'm not suggesting that the Brazilian dude was a terrorist, but I am saying that I don't think things as cut-and-dried as we are being led to believe. Like it or not, there was some logical series of events which caused British anti-terror forces to really believe this guy was about to blow up a train, and they acted accordingly.

Re:That would make you (1)

Karem Lore (649920) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517233)

Oh mark the parent post up, that is SOOOO funny...

On another note for another post, would fat kids be able to walk fast enough to generate such power? If not then there is the incentive...Here is a gameboy, keep walking...At the point where their speed is good they can play...

Re:That would make you (1)

mikiN (75494) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517286)

Or they will just start jumping up and down (thereby creating a power surge) until their parents buy them a PSP...

Re:That would make you (1)

gowen (141411) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517274)

Hey, the Met have never shot anyone acting suspiciously, wearing inappropriate clothes or carrying a bulky item that might be a bomb...

They just claim those things afterwards.

Re:That would make you (4, Funny)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517278)

With a few modifications you could be a walking talking beat-em up character ."Lighting bolt thrust" ..."Spinning Electro kick".. no mugger could touch ***"Nine Volt Man***
That joke was shocking

Re:That would make you (1)

Itchy Rich (818896) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517282)

A walking target for muggers.

I can't really see a mugger running off with a 30kg pack. In fact I can't really see a mugger wanting it in the first place. In fact, I can't really see why anyone would be carrying it to begin with. Am I missing something or is this a *really* niche market?

Re:That would make you (1)

Itchy Rich (818896) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517304)

Am I missing something or is this a *really* niche market?

Sorry, ignore me. Being dim. I missed the bit of the article that explained that the load in the backpack can be your own stuff.

This might be handy for treks in remote areas, although you'd need to be able to charge a battery since you'd probably use more power when you weren't walking.

Re:That would make you (1)

espressojim (224775) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517654)

You missed this part as well:

The electricity can be used while it is being generated, or it can be stored in a lightweight rechargeable battery for later use, greatly reducing the need to haul and use heavy replacement batteries.

Re:That would make you (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13517308)

Another moron who doesn't know what "exponentially" means.

Re:That would make you (1)

thc69 (98798) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517355)

This isn't for people who aren't already walking around with a backpack full of stuff. In the city, it would only be useful for children at school, who carry that much weight in books. Mostly, it's for the sort of folk who have to carry a bunch of survival gear anyway -- hikers, soldiers, etc.

The ballast is whatever load you're already carrying anyway, not 85 pounds of power generating machinery.

Re:That would make you (1)

ramblin billy (856838) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517390)


Give me a line of guys with SlBs (Suspended-load Backpacks) connected to the pleasure centers of their brains and I'll give you an Earth sized yoyo.

After a long day of marching to power the Sultans air conditioning, the slaves dreaded when it was time for Must See TV.

Well, what we think happened is that somehow the wires got crossed...he musta been going about 60 miles an hour when his tennis shoe blew.

billy - from the land of unintended consequences

Re:That would make you (1)

hcob$ (766699) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517620)

Yeah, buy you can power up a huge pack of batteries for discharging through a stun gun! Or in this case, an Electrocution Gun.

Walking Chick Magnet! (5, Funny)

blankoboy (719577) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517216)

Not only generating power but instantly increasing your popularity with the fairer sex.

Re:Walking Chick Magnet! (2, Funny)

SimilarityEngine (892055) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517242)

According to the article:

Suspended-load Backpack testers were able to generate up to 7.4 Watts...

Everyone knows that walking chick magnets require several kilowatts to operate, so you'll have to jog rather quickly :-)

Re:Walking Chick Magnet! (1)

flyonthewall (584734) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517479)

Mmmm...

Not only generating power but instantly increasing your popularity with the fairer sex.


For most of the /. crowd, I would not say instantly but rather gradually.

That would have come in handy ... (0, Offtopic)

Fulton Green (40325) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517218)

for the annual Linux Beer Hike [linuxbierwanderung.org] !

Gee (0)

Trip Ericson (864747) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517223)

As if my backpack isn't heavy enough from, you know, books for school. My back hurts from the thing as it is, I'm not carrying another 50 pounds around, thank you.

Re:Gee (1)

Alioth (221270) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517337)

I'd get a better designed backpack then. I've hiked up mountainsides with backpacks carrying 50lbs without hurting my back.

Re:Gee (2, Informative)

moonbender (547943) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517353)

Actually, it's not like the power generator weighed 50 pounds, the backpack just needs some weight to work - more weight means more power generated. If your backpack already weighs a lot, you're good to go. In other words, RTFA. ;)

The current contents will do (1)

Joseph_Daniel_Zukige (807773) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517370)

44 to 84 pounds is not the weight of the generator, it's the weight of the pendulum. The pendulum is whatever is in the backpack. If you already have 44+ pounds of books in the backpack, you're all set for the pendulum part.

I'd guess the generator itself is less than ten pounds, but the article didn't say.

"... and Bluetooth"? (4, Funny)

pieterh (196118) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517226)

The incredible accuracy of this list of items that the backpack can power quite astounds me.

"Sorry sir, if you want to play WMAs you'll need the extended BackpackWindows version."

"Sorry sir, USB2.0 is not supported. Have you considered using BlueTooth?"

"Sorry sir, federal law requires you to wear night vision goggles while carrying this backpack. Yes, sir, I'm aware it's high noon. Regulations."

"Sorry sir, but is that GSM terminal in talk mode? It is? OK, just checking... some tourists think they can use stand-by mode."

Re:"... and Bluetooth"? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13517344)

That's the new user-friendly standard notation for electric power. All that stuff about Watts and Joules was bound to confuse people!

Re:"... and Bluetooth"? (1)

l_bratch (865693) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517495)

Endlessly more useful would have been to tell me if it could power a laptop.

Kangaroo (5, Interesting)

awol (98751) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517231)

Sounds a lot like the energy differential shown by hopping kangaroos. Their energy consumption is remarkably low given the velocities they generate and it seems to be the result of energy stored in their lower leg tendons. In other words they are using the same benefits to get a large increase in overall energy output with a marginal increase in metabolic consumption.

Re:Kangaroo (1)

Berner (861683) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517422)

Didn't it say in the article that the pack forced the wearer to walk more efficiently and thus getting a normal metabolic draw. Also, someone mentioned how hard it would be to lugg around an extra 50 pounds just to get power. Think instead of people who, right now, already cary 50+ pounds in a packpack (say a soldier on march), this would give them an extra benefit without having to cary much extra weight.

Musical Ninja (5, Funny)

SimilarityEngine (892055) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517235)

...enough electricity to simultaneously power an MP3 player ... night vision goggles ...

Great! Now I can assasinate people while listening to the Kill Bill soundtrack!

Re:Musical Ninja (2, Funny)

Rirath.com (807148) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517356)

Great! Now I can assasinate people while listening to the Kill Bill soundtrack!

I've always wanted my own theme music...

Sadly... (4, Funny)

MaestroSartori (146297) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517252)

...carrying all that gear means that the calls you do make on the GSM device in talk mode sound like heavy breathing pervert-o-calls, and you'll get busted for harrassment :)

Uses (4, Insightful)

FirienFirien (857374) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517261)

While at the moment this is spawning a handful of standard amusing slashdot responses, you miss a more useful application - that of field operatives. And you can take 'field operatives' to mean soldiers and the like - being able to use all kinds of equipment that would normally require more power than is available should improve things, although bear in mind they already carry heavy packs so it wouldn't be one per person. The other kind is the more normal field operative - anyone who goes exploring/researching/hiking/prospecting... if you don't have to carry samples back to base camp for analysis, or can power *anything* enabling, then you're ddoing well with one of these. Remember that most people don't need the long list of things mentioned in the post; but for enabling people who are away from home, this looks like it could be really handy.

Re:Uses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13517321)

I believe that the heavy load can be anything you like, the power is generated by your legs moving the heavy load up and down and weights very little itself. If you're a backpacker, you wouldn't have to carry any more weight.

Re:Uses (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517368)

it's pretty obvious they're a target user group, though maybe with different configuration.

the night vision goggles kind of give it away.

The rocks would be the pendulum? (1)

Joseph_Daniel_Zukige (807773) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517381)

I could be wrong, but that's the way I read it.

Re:Uses (0)

AnswerIs42 (622520) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517460)

44 to 88 pounds to just power a bunch of stuff... that is about the max a person can carry... what about .. or say.. FOOD, Shelter, medical supplies, ect?

Remember, you have to carry EVERYTHING you need when in the wild. What are you going to do? Hire a shirpa that will live on nuts and berries to carry the stuff you need to LIVE?

Sorry, I am NOT impressed by this. Let me know when it is down to 3-4lbs and no chance of it being broken if you fall or drop your pack. Then I will be impressed. You can get a hand generator to power/recharge that same stuff and it is 2lbs or less.

A lot of wasted weight and the people that this "would" be targeted for know it and will just move on to better options. You go LIGHT, not HEAVY you go RUGGED not "If this tiny part breaks, I am screwed!".

As this is now.. it is doomed for the land of the lost and forgotten.

Re:Uses (1)

SimilarityEngine (892055) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517511)

With all due respect, RTFA. As has been pointed out elsewhere in these comments, the 44-88 pounds is just some arbitrary load whose motion generates the electricity. It can be food, water, contraceptives, whatever you like.

Re:Uses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13517489)

If you take a look at the LightningPacks [lightningpacks.com] website, you'll see that they very much have this kind of application in mind.

From that site:

"Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan really changed the face of modern warfare," said Dr. Rome from his office in Strafford, Pa. "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.

Re:Uses (1)

anthony_dipierro (543308) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517726)

And best of all, the field operatives won't have to carry the load themselves. They can strap these backpacks to be backs of dolphins, or camels, or something.

"Fatal" design flaw. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13517276)

"...simultaneously power an MP3 player, a PDA, night vision goggles..."

Night vision goggles eh? Aren't night vision goggles typically something one uses for espionage and reconnaissance? You know...THINGS YOU NEED TO BE VERY QUIET AND STILL TO DO?

I certainly hope that the soldiers from Splinter Cell don't start carrying these lest they be proper fucked.

There's another one on the market (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13517283)

In Europe you can now get the O'Neill H2 series backpack, which has a solarcell to power your phone, iPod, etc. It also features bluetooth and integrated phone and iPod controls.
See this link [oneilleurope.com] for more info.

Whew! Scared me there (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13517290)

Whew! Scared me there for a moment -- I could have sworn the headline said "New Twist on Power Wanking"

Re:Whew! Scared me there (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13517637)

No, that would be the previous Slashdot article: Clever Artificial Hand Developed...

plug it in... (1, Funny)

utnow (808790) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517302)

Seems like it would just be way easier to just plug it in at home and live with the fact that I'm only going to get ~16hours out of my iPod, 24hrs of standby on my cellphone... 5hrs out of my laptop. etc.

Alternative energy like this won't really get anybody's interest until it's passive (except all of us. lol). As long as it's more work than plugging it into the wall at home, we'll keep doing just that.

In the meantime, just how many active vibrator's does that translate into? :D

That's LOTS of batteries (4, Funny)

dvandok (94559) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517326)

By carrying a load weighing from 44 to 84 pounds (20 to 38 kg) [...] The electricity [...] can be stored in a lightweight rechargeable battery for later use, greatly reducing the need to haul and use heavy replacement batteries.

I think that bringing 30 kg in replacement batteries should last me the entire vacation!

Re:That's LOTS of batteries (1)

moonbender (547943) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517372)

Wow, you actually quote the article, but miss the crucial fact that the load can be anything - like clothes, a tent or food. Backpackers already carry that much weight, bringing 30 kg in replacement batteries is not an option.

why bother (2, Insightful)

k31dar (913590) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517331)

Carrying between 44 and 84 pounds of backpack will negate the need to carry heavy batteries. So how heavy are batteries for MP3 players and PDA's these days?

and how about kinetic energy (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13517335)

I remember that it exists hand watches that are powered by kinetic energy... searching in google I found two devices:

http://www.designawards.com.au/ADA/04-05/student/1 32/132.htm [designawards.com.au]

and another one made by seike for its clocks:

http://www.ofrei.com/page867.html [ofrei.com]

Anybody know something likeness?

Re:and how about kinetic energy (1)

moonbender (547943) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517393)

Watches are a whole different thing, because they use a really, REALLY small amount of power. But yeah, it's essentially the same thing, the first link especially is very similar in its goals. OTOH it doesn't say how much energy is created - I'd wager that there is a pretty huge difference.

Coincidence... (2, Funny)

Nevtje(hr (869571) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517342)

...that this was posted on the same day as the article about the robotic hand?

1 + 1 = 2 (say hello to a new era of beach voyeurism)

84lbs of what? (1)

tritium6 (804406) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517348)

The article doesn't seem to say whether the 84 pounds is built into the backpack, or if you could attach your own substitute 84lb load. If you can use your own load, the deal gets even sweeter for military types.
Someone with a better brain for physics tell me, is it more likely that the electricity is the result of lifting (or lowering, more likely) a generic 84lb load, or do you think you'd be required to lower some specific load of some type of electronics?
My initial guess is the first scenario.

Re:84lbs of what? (3, Interesting)

Eivind (15695) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517383)

It can be any load, it's just used for inertia. The device simply suspends the load on springs so it can slide an inch or so up and down the frame. Then energy is extracted from this movement. Very modest amounts of energy, I should add, around 7 watts.

For most applications this is a nonstarter: if it's daytime, solar would work better (since it'd work at rests too) and for many operations at nigth, simply carrying a battery is easier, because you want say your nigth-vision goggles to keep working even if you leave the backpack behind for some job.

Re:84lbs of what? (1)

enoraM (749327) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517391)

Guess you're wrong :-) There's a picture and a german article that describes that you can use your own substitute load. http://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/63699 [heise.de]

Free Power! (0, Troll)

www.bnp.org.uk (913391) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517357)

Free power! Governments would make these backpacks illegal.

Picture and Details (5, Informative)

enoraM (749327) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517374)

Here's a picture http://www.heise.de/bilder/63699/0/1 [heise.de] . The aparatus just takes a small part of the weight. However, you have to put something in your backpack, whatever it is, to generate power.

I've seen this somewhere before... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13517375)

...it sounds an awful lot like like Master Shake's eHelmet:
  http://www.mcpeepants.com/frames/405edork/frame5.j pg [mcpeepants.com]

How heavy did they say the generator was? (1)

Joseph_Daniel_Zukige (807773) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517396)

They mentioned that you'd need to carry 44 to 84 pounds, and the discussion sounds like that's the weight of the pendulum. Or maybe the pendulum plus the generator plus the frame. If the generator is, say, only ten pounds, then the 44 to 84 could include your tent, the device(s) being powered, lunch, collected rocks, etc.

Am I reading this wrong?

For use as a subsystem on walking mechs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13517402)

Any ideas?

Odd language ... (1)

hattig (47930) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517424)

an MP3 player, a PDA, night vision goggles, a handheld GPS, a CMOS image decoder, a GSM terminal in talk mode, and Bluetooth.

So ... a Motorola A1000 then, apart from the night vision goggles?

and what is a CMOS image decoder? Do they mean a digital camera or camcorder?! Given that they say 'GSM Terminal In Talk Mode' rather than 'Cell Phone' I guess it is...

Dune, because it always comes back to Frank Herber (1)

yarbelk (913594) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517436)

Kinda makes me think of the Stillsuit. So all that needs to be built is a small electric desalinator and pumps. And then we all need to get some blue in blue eyes, because blue in blue eyes are cool.

why is this new? why a backpack? (5, Interesting)

speculatrix (678524) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517445)

why new?
self-winding watches have been around for many years to store energy in springs to power a watch, and Seiko and other companies have watches which store electricy in ultra-capacitors.

why a backpack?
why not use wrist- or ankle-mounted generators, which get a lot more movement, so presumably the generator could be a lot smaller and lighter?

Re:why is this new? why a backpack? (1)

promatrax161 (913597) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517602)

why a backpack?
Well, I guess since your average generator-user willbe doing some field work, she would need to carry her basic equipment somewhere. Since she would need to carry it anyway...
I agree, wrist- or ankle-mounted generators are more elegant, but would there be such a demand as for backpacks? hmm...

Re:why is this new? why a backpack? (1)

Ziviyr (95582) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517640)

wrist- or ankle-mounted generators are more elegant

You may appreciate the sleek appearance of big lumps cluttering up key joints and generating minimal amounts of power.

I'd opt for the out-of-the-way backpack with enough mass-against-inertia to power stuff. Betetr exercise too.

Re:why is this new? why a backpack? (1)

promatrax161 (913597) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517665)

You may appreciate the sleek appearance of big lumps cluttering up key joints and generating minimal amounts of power.

Well, to be honest, I did not think about how big actually these things on joints would have to be, but perhaps not much bigger than the protection people on rollerblades use, especially if you are running (higher frequency)?

Re:why is this new? why a backpack? (1)

speculatrix (678524) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517708)

since your average generator-user willbe doing some field work, she would need to carry her basic equipment somewhere

the first thing I do when working on-site is to put down all the luggage. and since the backpack's generator is motion-driven, once you've arrived, you'll stop generating anyway. I guess you'd have to get up and go jogging every ten minutes to recharge the batteries!

warning! humour alert: with generators on the wrist, a few minutes surfing for porn will probably store a few megajoules ready to power everything!!!

Re:why is this new? why a backpack? (1)

promatrax161 (913597) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517718)

I guess you'd have to get up and go jogging every ten minutes to recharge the batteries!

That, or make your lightweight backpack-charged battery last long enough for the work you do at that particular site.

warning! humour alert: with generators on the wrist, a few minutes surfing for porn will probably store a few megajoules ready to power everything!!!

Yeah! You could power whole parts of the city that way, right?

Re:why is this new? why a backpack? (3, Informative)

onpaws (685894) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517614)

A backpack makes better sense because it is jostling a large amount of weight predictably in the vertical direction. F = m * a. On the other hand/knee, your wrist or ankle-mounted generator is only moving that body part, a much smaller mass.

Re:why is this new? why a backpack? (2, Interesting)

promatrax161 (913597) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517632)

Well, on the other hand, if you would be running with a knee-mounted generator, perhaps it could make difference. Of course, you would not be running with a heavy backpack, but you might want to charge your batteries while jogging (which you might be doing anyway)?

OR, I could... (0)

wiresquire (457486) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517502)

...just hump around a 12 volt car battery which weighs a fair bit less...

Re:OR, I could... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13517547)

If you hump around a 12 volt car battery something is certainly going to weigh a fair bit less. Ouch!

not for use in the park (3, Funny)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517523)

be careful while jogging past another person wearing one with more negative electrons than yours. *ffffZZZZZZZOTTTT* *POOOOM* *smoke smoke*

Re:not for use in the park (2, Funny)

SimilarityEngine (892055) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517551)

be careful while jogging past another person wearing one with more negative electrons than yours

I'd be even more worried about people with positive ones. BOOOOOOOOOOOOM!

I'm wondering (4, Funny)

Ixne (599904) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517533)

What are the chances your average /. user can even heft said backpack? (images of futuristic schoolyard-bully style backpack swiping ensue)

The weight doesn't have to be dead ... (1)

Titusdot Groan (468949) | more than 8 years ago | (#13517738)

The wags are already coming out about you can carry a lot of batteries and still have it weigh less than 20kg.

I'd just like to point out that if you were working deep back country you are often carrying much more than 20kg in rock samples or camping gear or other equipment.

If that's the case you get the recharging essentially for free.

Although you could probably hook someting into a good laptop bag ...

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