Hop, skip, jump, march, dance, run or hike – keep at it for an hour while wearing these kinetic boots and you’ll be able to generate enough power to charge up your smartphone 3 times. Developed by Lockheed Martin in collaboration with STC Footwear, the Kinetic Boots are meant for military personal to charge up their devices and radios while on the move. Adding only a few ounces of weight to each boot, this set up is much lighter than other solar and battery options soldiers are currently using. They also consolidate a piece of essential gear into boots that everyone already wears.
Marines carry up to 15 pounds of batteries in order to charge all their devices while in the field. The batteries plus all their other gear can be a huge drain on muscles and the soldier’s energy. To lighten their load, Lockheed Martin wanted to come up with a way to generate power while on the move and minimize the additional weight. Their solution was to use kinetic energy generated from walking and moving and harness that via a soldiers boots. Lockheed Martin teamed up with Canadian boot maker, STC Footwear to integrate all the necessary component, like power generators, rechargeable batteries and power cords, right into the boot.
The result is a boot that weighs about 3 ounces more than normal and has 1.5 Watt of potential power. Walk around for 60 minutes and you’ll have generated enough power in both boots to charge an iPhone 5 3 times. “The concept of harvesting energy from body movement, particularly walking, is not relatively new, but the efficiency of these systems has remained a challenge,” said Rebecca Schwartz, nanotechnology lead at Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Solutions. “However, with recent advancements in materials and manufacturing techniques, we were able to greatly improve the amount of generated power using the Kinetic Boot system.”
Lockheed Martin and STC Footwear recently demonstrated their Kinetic Boots with the Marines in May at Experimental Forward Operating Base (ExFOB). After further testing and refinement of the design, Lockheed expects to have a rugged boot that will generate even more power, be able to handle harsher conditions and be more reliable for soldiers out in the field. They also foresee this technology reaching beyond military applications and into normal shoes for everyday use.