These Knee Braces Could Help Marines Power Gear

A staff nurse in the emergency department at Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, examines a prototype being presented at the Expeditionary Energy Concepts symposium at Camp Pendleton May 3, 2016. The knee brace is designed to harvest kinetic energy as Marines walk and power radios, batteries and other equipment. (Photo by Caitlin Bevel/U.S. Marine Corps)A staff nurse in the emergency department at Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, examines a prototype being presented at the Expeditionary Energy Concepts symposium at Camp Pendleton May 3, 2016. The knee brace is designed to harvest kinetic energy as Marines walk and power radios, batteries and other equipment. (Photo by Caitlin Bevel/U.S. Marine Corps)

At the Marine Corps’ annual Expeditionary Energy Concepts showcase this month, energy scavenging devices were all the rage.

The expo, which emphasizes new energy-reducing and fuel- and water-saving technologies, highlighted wearable gear that collects energy, including an energy-harvesting backpack and a kinetic knee brace that creates energy through movement during long patrols.

The brace concept, which debuted at a 2014 E2C event and is in the prototype phase, is designed to power radios, batteries and other personal equipment, officials said.

In all, E2C evaluated 13 commercial technologies this year, including a small-unit water purification system, electric micro-grid systems, and seven different systems designed to provide energy-effective triage and shock trauma support to wounded troops.

“Through the E2C process, the Marine Corps has conducted eight demonstrations at bases, reviewed more than 300 technologies, assessed over 100 technologies, evaluated 26 systems and purchased 11 for extended user evaluation in the United States and Afghanistan and transitioned five to programs of record,” officials said in a news release.

 

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Hope Hodge Seck
Hope Hodge Seck is a reporter at Military.com. She can be reached at hope.seck@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @HopeSeck.