Getting a charge out of backpacking.

Position:Backpack that converts energy into electricity - Brief article

Talk about plugging along. Soldiers, emergency workers, or hikers toting heavy loads may soon don a new kind of backpack that converts energy from their strides into electricity. The souped-up backpack, which produces power from the up and down oscillations of the wearer's body, can supply juice to electronic gadgets a hiker might have along.

That could a boon for participants in numerous outdoor endeavors, says inventor Lawrence C. Rome of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass. In military actions, search-and-rescue operations, and scientific field studies, people rely increasely on cell phones, global positioning system receivers, night-vision goggles, and other battery-powered devices. The backpack's electricity-generating feature could dramatically reduce the fraction of a wearer's load now devoted to spare batteries, report Rome and...

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