November 2nd, 2022 at 10:45 a.m. by Sara Petzold – A curious new gadget is currently making the rounds on Kickstarter: The so-called moonwalkers are said to double the walking speed of their users. They rely on an electric motor and eight wheels that are strapped under the shoe.
The “fastest shoes in the world” – with these words the employees of Shift Robotics advertise a special project on Kickstarter called Moonwalkers. Anyone who straps these wheels under their feet should be able to walk at up to 250 percent higher speed than normal – but without actually skating like they are on roller skates.
Because even if the moonwalkers look a little like classic roller skates at first glance, the concept is different: the moonwalkers support walking with the help of an electric motor. So users strap the rollers under their shoes, but then don’t slide, but continue walking normally, while the electrically driven rollers increase our walking speed. The feeling when walking should be similar to that of a treadmill.
Artificial intelligence adapts the feeling of walking to user habits
The Moonwalkers themselves consist of a multi-part platform to which the shoe is strapped, as well as a total of eight wheels plus an electric motor with a power of 300 watts. A hinge at the level of the ball of the foot is intended to ensure an ergonomic walking experience, while an AI algorithm adapts the drive to the walking behavior of the respective user. Finally, a special braking and locking system also allows climbing stairs and crossing comparable obstacles. The speed when running downhill is also regulated automatically so that the pace is not too high.
The Moonwalkers are controlled using gestures with the feet so that users have their hands free. The integrated battery can be charged in 1.5 hours via USB cable and, according to the manufacturer, lasts a distance of 9.6 kilometers. Using magnetic straps, the Moonwalker should be able to be flexibly adapted to (almost) any shoe and be easy to put on and take off.
Shift Robotics is currently offering the Moonwalkers for early adopters at prices starting at $1,099 – packages starting at $799 are already sold out. In addition to the moonwalkers themselves, each package includes a charging cable and storage bag. The final selling price is said to be $1,400; Delivery is planned from March 2023.
Source: via Golem