LIFESABER Iterations & 5-Year Development History
Ideation on the high-level spec for what was originally called the Personal Energy Generator (PEG) began more than 5 years ago.
The challenge was to create a self-charging device that even a child could use to generate lifesaving power, but which would be ergonomically efficient for use by even the strongest adults. Of course, the device would also have to be compact, affordable, lightweight and wilderness-friendly.
After 3 years and dozens of false starts and dead ends, I had an epiphany which led to the first of the technical breakthroughs which would be required.
Specifically, development of a swing arm that could both be twirled (like a jump rope) yet comfortably cranked. The resulting PowerGrip™ was successfully prototyped in July of 2018, which featured a telescoping arm with a weighted handle for twirling. It also served as the handle grip while for cranking. We created a unique, multi--jointed design which enables an unprecedented 5 degrees of freedom in the arm’s motion. This results in comfortable, sustainable twirling or cranking while bringing to bear the full forearm strength of the user.
But while necessary, the PowerGrip was not sufficient in order to realize the ambitious product objective. It took hundreds of additional hours to prove-out the second breakthrough technology – a dynamically adjustable torque control achieved solely through electronics (no mechanical gearing).
In June of this year we completed our most advanced working prototype.
This prototype enabled the user to toggle the ‘Force Multiplier’ circuit to match the rotation-resistance to the type of input (twirl vs. crank) and the strength of the user.
This sophisticated prototype was privately demonstrated – to real acclaim – at the Outdoor Retailer show in Denver. While functional, none of our existing prototypes are optimized for manufacturability, which is why we've come on Kickstarter!