Sunday 9 November 2014

Jetpack Will Help Runners Hit 4-Minute Miles

by Lisa Winter

There are times when seconds count, and the ability to move quickly could mean the difference between life and death. In combat, soldiers can carry upwards of 90 pounds in their rucksacks and on their bodies, which significantly reduces how fast they can move on foot. Jason Kerestes, a student at Arizona State University, has developed the 4 Minute Mile: a jetpack that helps soldiers move faster, without requiring them to physically exert more.

While jetpacks are usually associated with flying around, this one just gives the runner a boost, helping them to shave off time while also decreasing the amount of effort put into the activity. Initial testing has shown that even while loaded up with the jetpack equipment, the runner was able to complete a 200-meter run faster and with decreased metabolic cost than when he ran on his own.

This project was completed in ASU’s iProjects program, which hooks students up with faculty and partners in the industry to help solve real problems. Kerestes’s project was completed in cooperation with professor Thomas Sugar of ASU’s Human Machine Integration Lab and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

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