The future of preventing knee injuries in the Canadian Military may be in the hands of a company in Dartmouth and their recent invention.
Spring Loaded Technology has just signed a deal with the military to make 200 customized knee braces.
“For us, if you want to really test something durability-wise, like give it to the army,” said Bob Garrish, co-founder and chief technology officer at Spring Loaded Technology.
“They were interested, so we got a million dollar contract and they are going to get a lot of these, test them and we will rebuild them so they will work exactly what they want them to do,” Garrish told Global News.
Garrish started Spring Loaded Technology in 2012 with Chris Cowper-Smith. The company has grown significantly over the past few years and now employs 15 people.
The knee braces they’ve created work by gaining energy when the knee bends and then releasing it when the knee strengthens.
For the military knee braces, Garrish says they will be using stronger and more durable material. The goal is to enhance performance of front-line troops and also work to prevent injuries.
Garrish says the braces could help prevent knee injuries among paratroopers as well as help soldiers increase the equipment they are able to carry when out on missions.
“Our guys have the conditioning to carry a 120 pound pack up a mountain and we have to limit them to sort of 80, 90 pounds, purely because that sort of weight on a knee that slides out is enough to dislocate it,” Garrish explains.
“So we’ll actually let them carry 30 pounds more of food, of ammunition, of water that they need and that’s another third. That’s huge.”
Garrish says the military contract is a huge step for the locally owned and operated company and is confident that once the Department of National Defence uses their technology once, they’ll want more.
“Because the tech is light, it does all these things that they want it to, we’re absolutely certain that they’re just going to want more once they get them in their hands.”