Army wants 50-foot wireless charging, so do we

It must be great being the Army and being able to say, "Hey, wireless charging sounds cool, let's pour a couple million into it and see if we can up the range to, let's say, fifty feet! Okay? AWESOME!"

Plugging gadgets in to charge them may suck for us on an individual level, but the Army has the problem on a military scale. Soldiers are carrying radios and GPS receivers and all kinds of other hardware, and all of it has to be plugged in to batteries all the time, which means carrying said batteries and cords all over the place and then plugging the batteries in when you get back to base. Not fun.

What the Army is looking for is a way to eliminate all of this redundant and annoying infrastructure, setting things up so that troops can keep all their stuff charged up just by being within 50 feet of bases or vehicles. Sounds like a fantastic idea, and while it may be mostly crazy, at least it's not completely impossible: wireless power transmission over distances of several feet has been demonstrated at about 50% efficiency, and there are ways to get even longer distances if you don't mind using infrared lasers.

What seems more realistic to us is to give up on the long-range transmission and just bring transmitters closer to receivers by mounting them on autonomous flying robots. Seriously, give these guys at the University of Nebraska a couple million and see what they come up with instead.

Army News, via Danger Room

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