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Power From Your Legs

Kinetic energy is a renewable energy resource we don’t give much attention to. Very simply, it is the energy of motion. Capturing this energy and using it to create electricity is possible, and it is done routinely in certain systems. However, for the most part, it is too inefficient of a process to compete with large-scale electricity production methods.

That said, there’s still a ton of potential to capture kinetic energy and use it for electricity production. Hikers and campers could use it to power “essential” devices while they are enjoying some extended exercise off the grid. It could be useful in disaster and recovery situations where the electricity goes out. It could be used in developing countries when people are off the grid. And it could be used for remote industrial or military applications.

Go Kin Packs* is now selling a product for these unique markets. The Go Kin device is compact and lightweight, important characteristics for most of the applications or situations listed above. “Two retractable cords extend from the bottom of the pack to hook on the tabs at the back of your running shoes or hiking books. Each time you take a step, the cords engage gears, electronics and motors in the Go Kin, creating electricity.” Once the power is generated, it is stored in a lightweight battery until needed.

“The Go Kin also has two USB ports (for charging) and one mini USB port (information only, no charging). You can directly charge your cell phone, tablet, AA and AAA batteries as you walk. The Go Kin can also charge your devices if you are not walking (using the battery). It’s clean, green energy that’s available 24 hours a day in any weather conditions.” Here’s a video with more information:

Of course, solar PV is a great option in many of these markets, too. I was happy to see that brought up in the video above. While solar will definitely be more competitive in some locations and at some times, the benefit of the Go Kin pack is its use in cloudy or stormy weather. As the founder of Go Kin Packs, Bill Ostrom, notes: “For 5 minutes of walking, you get about 10-25 minutes of talk time on a cell phone.”

The Go Kin device has undergone “extensive biomechanical testing” at Queen’s University in order to test and improve efficiency and ergonomics.

 

If this device inspires you and you want to get one for your next camping trip, head on over to the Go Kin Kickstarter page and help it hit its target!

If you want a few more details first, here are some more specs:

  • Weight: 2.6lbs/1.2kg (with electronics and battery)
  • Dimensions (approximate): 10″ X 5″ X 3″ ( 25 cm X 13 cm X 8 cm)
  • A built-in lithium-ion battery
  • There are two USB ports for charging electronics
  • DC power jack for charging the battery or electronics through the two USB ports
  • LED battery indicator light

*This article was kindly sponsored by Go Kin Packs.

All images via Go Kin Kickstarter page.

 
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