Jetpack Enables Anyone To Run A 4-Minute Mile

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Jetpack Enables Anyone To Run A 4-Minute Mile

With this jetpack developed by an engineering graduate from ASU, anyone could run long distances faster and more efficiently.

Jason Kerestes, an engineering graduate from Arizona State University, is the brains behind an interesting project. Working in tandem with DARPA and faculty mentor Doctor Thomas Sugar, Kerestes is developing a jetpack that, despite not bestowing the gift of flight upon the user, can give an extra boost to someone when running.

The project, known as the 4 Minute Mile (4MM), was born from a request by the military to upgrade their soldiers. The desire was to have any of their personnel able to run a 4 minute mile- hence the project's name. The jetpack sits on the lower back of the wearer with two thrusters exerting force back and down, which provides a forward driving force and also a small amount of lift. Wearing the device results in faster running times for the user.

In its current stage, the unit's weight forces the runner to carry an extra 11.2 pounds. However, in a 200 meter run test, the runner wearing the jetpack was able to reduce his completion time and metabolic cost, or the amount of exerted energy needed to complete a task. The test subject was also able to run a mile in 5 minutes and 2 seconds while wearing the device- allowing for an 18 second improvement over running the mile without it. Kerestes is now refining his design to be as efficient as possible.

The 4MM project is part of an ASU program called iProjects, which brings students and industry together to find innovative solutions to real-world problems.

Source: Pocket-lint via Arizona State University

Want more awesome inventions? Check out this robot that can survive being run over by a car!

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Looks like we finally got enough Vespene gas to research charge at the tech lab for our soldiers. Another 100 minerals to get blink and our all in rush strat is gonna crush ISIS before the 5 minute mark.

So we're finally getting started with enhancing humans beyond the point of just correcting for disabilities?

First thing to come to mind is Power Armour....

Add this to some super high tech armour and there will be no weakness.

Rex Dark:
So we're finally getting started with enhancing humans beyond the point of just correcting for disabilities?

We've kinda been doing that for a while though, haven't we? Cosmetics and plastic surgery is all about that. But I see your point.

Yes. Put this on an exo-suit and add some cool futuristic weaponry and you've got the next best thing to space marines.

Um... 5 minutes and 2 seconds is >25% longer than 4 minutes. Just sayin'. Kind of wonder how long it can run for, how much fuel does it take, how noisy is it, and how much heat does it produce? Is it easy to use in rough terrain, or will it make you trip more easily? And for that matter, if you do trip, what happens?

Is anybody entering a bicycle? Ultra-low-weight bicycles come in at like 4-7 pounds, and can do a four minute mile without any difficulty at all, generating negligible heat, no fuel, little noise...

Veldie:
First thing to come to mind is Power Armour....

Add this to some super high tech armour and there will be no weakness.

They've already done some pretty cool R&D (that's still coming along) in the arena of powered exoskeletons that allow a lot more weight to be carried, pretty close to the Exoskeleton armor from the STALKER series. Something like this paired with it seems natural.

Specifically here though- they've basically just developed a real-life sprint button. Pretty awesome stuff.

Daaaah Whoosh:
Yes. Put this on an exo-suit and add some cool futuristic weaponry and you've got the next best thing to space marines.

no....you'll have Firefall without the global disaster...then we find the hidden technology and minerals for powering this stuff, and THEN we're screwed XD

kajinking:
Looks like we finally got enough Vespene gas to research charge at the tech lab for our soldiers. Another 100 minerals to get blink and our all in rush strat is gonna crush ISIS before the 5 minute mark.

Unfortunately, our macro is so bad we keep forgetting to build bunkers and constantly get supply blocked.

Pyrian:
Um... 5 minutes and 2 seconds is >25% longer than 4 minutes. Just sayin'. Kind of wonder how long it can run for, how much fuel does it take, how noisy is it, and how much heat does it produce? Is it easy to use in rough terrain, or will it make you trip more easily? And for that matter, if you do trip, what happens?

Is anybody entering a bicycle? Ultra-low-weight bicycles come in at like 4-7 pounds, and can do a four minute mile without any difficulty at all, generating negligible heat, no fuel, little noise...

Seeing as how they already use bicycles (see Montague Paratrooper use in Iraq and Afghanistan) I think they already thought of that. Obviously, while getting it down to 4 minutes is the goal, they're already showing a pretty good improvement with their prototype. It doesn't add much weight or throw you off balance too much as compared to standard kit an infantryman is carrying, and being able to take a beating and reducing the form factor further will definitely be a prereq for military adoption.

On it's own, the benefit of being able to sprint faster to cover while under fire, no matter how small the advantage, seems like it's worth the few extra pounds it adds to a soldier's kit. Where this could really shine is in conjunction with some of the other DARPA projects that are going on that have to do with powered exoskeletons. Have soldiers that can carry and lift a few hundred pounds of equipment and armor with little to no agility disadvantages, AND have a power assisted short duration high-speed sprint ability... that's some future soldier right there.

You know it would be nice if this was just strap to the bottom of a soldiers field carry. if it can generate enough thrust to lower the soldiers carry weight by a significant amount you already have a win there. Letting the fighting man run faster is nice but increasing his endurance is better in the long run, imo

tangoprime:
Obviously, while getting it down to 4 minutes is the goal, they're already showing a pretty good improvement with their prototype.

I would say they are not. They want 4:00. They start at 5:20. They got 5:02. That's improvement... But not a lot of improvement. Certainly not anywhere close to their goal.

tangoprime:
It doesn't add much weight...

Actually, that's quite a bit of weight. Are they going to load this up onto an infantryman's kit, in addition to what they're already carrying? Or are they going to get rid of something else? If so, what? An occasional powered sprint is nice, but that dead weight is there from production until the device is retired.

tangoprime:
...or throw you off balance too much as compared to standard kit an infantryman is carrying...

Mmm. But what if it's powerful enough to actually work as advertised?

tangoprime:
Where this could really shine is in conjunction with some of the other DARPA projects that are going on that have to do with powered exoskeletons.

I don't know about that. An exoskeleton is going to be a lot heavier, and has the option to apply motive force directly to the legs instead of trying to do the same thing with air. Still, a sufficiently heavy exoskeleton starts having problems with destroying terrain when it wants to be moving forwards, so this might help with that.

I've yet to see a power source that's remotely practical for an exoskeleton in the field, though. There's a reason you almost always see them demonstrated tethered.

On one hand, that's kind of a cool idea.

On the other hand, 18 seconds? Eleven pounds and unknown thousands of dollars to improve a mile run time by 18 seconds?

...Yeah, I know, still in prototype stages. I have to wonder, though, how many situations exist where being able to cover a mile a minute or so faster is worth lugging an extra eleven pounds of gear before and after you get there.

you would save more energy if you just put a pair of roller skates on them. :)

Merlark:
you would save more energy if you just put a pair of roller skates on them. :)

I was just thinking that as well. Combine these with a pair of Rollerskates and I bet you could go crazy fast, though admittedly you'd probably end up breaking both your legs doing that on rough terrain.

Rex Dark:
So we're finally getting started with enhancing humans beyond the point of just correcting for disabilities?

We have been doing it for millions of years. That is the whole point of making tools.

After all, the reason we have hammers is because we are not capable of knocking in a nail with our bare hands...

Daaaah Whoosh:
Yes. Put this on an exo-suit and add some cool futuristic weaponry and you've got the next best thing to space marines.

First we need to figure out how to store enough energy in an exo suit to make it last long enough, the current batteries tend to run out too fast.

YES!

one step closer to giant mechs, hurry the fuck up science

too bad this development is focused towards the military, but well atleast its cool and it doesnt directly kill anything... tough delivering a (literal) flying kick with that thing has to be awesome

Anyone who has tried to run down a hill knows it's a bad idea to try to force your body to run at a speed it is not used to handling. I saw a couple of times in that video him coming close to face planting because of the extra boost..

+10lbs, -18s? Pointless.

strumbore:
+10lbs, -18s? Pointless.

Keep in mind that the overall energy required to finish the mile is lower as well. Even if you had to wear a 2-ton thing on your back, it wouldn't matter as long as it makes you exert less energy than required to hold it. Exhaustion is a huge issue and is a large contributor to casualties. I'd totally wear a 10-pound thing on my back if it would cause less overall exhaustion. Keep in mind that for those of us who actually exercise, 10 pounds focused on your back is absolutely nothing at all.

Aeshi:

Merlark:
you would save more energy if you just put a pair of roller skates on them. :)

I was just thinking that as well. Combine these with a pair of Rollerskates and I bet you could go crazy fast, though admittedly you'd probably end up breaking both your legs doing that on rough terrain.

Already been done

Aeshi:

Merlark:
you would save more energy if you just put a pair of roller skates on them. :)

I was just thinking that as well. Combine these with a pair of Rollerskates and I bet you could go crazy fast, though admittedly you'd probably end up breaking both your legs doing that on rough terrain.

Yeah, let's not make the same mistakes as Wile E. Coyote, okay?

OT: However, they manage to get this working right? This will be ultra cool.

So they're basically building these?

Huh. I guess the game's design team really did look at current and projected future tech for their world building.

Cool.

Jeez only 18 seconds..
But progress is progress I guess, kinda expected jets on your back to do a little more than shave off 18 seconds though.

EndlessSporadic:
Keep in mind that the overall energy required to finish the mile is lower as well. Even if you had to wear a 2-ton thing on your back, it wouldn't matter as long as it makes you exert less energy than required to hold it. Exhaustion is a huge issue and is a large contributor to casualties. I'd totally wear a 10-pound thing on my back if it would cause less overall exhaustion.

Carrying an extra 10 pounds all day for slightly less exertion for a few minutes does not remotely result in less overall exertion; quite the opposite.

EndlessSporadic:
Keep in mind that for those of us who actually exercise, 10 pounds focused on your back is absolutely nothing at all.

10 pounds will measurably impair speed and endurance, no matter how much you exercise. F=MA is not magically suspended by being in shape. And they're already carrying, what, 50+ pounds of kit into battle? Weapons, ammunition, gear. And that kit is already very carefully determined to be at the top of what the military considers acceptable encumbrance.

I think this is awesome. Sure it's heavy and cumbersome now, but it'll get smaller and lighter over time. I think this would be interesting for other stuff too, like doing parkor, pushing someone a little farther for a jump, or a boost to get up a few more inches on a jump. It could have applications for skydiving too, a little bit of force in the right way to slow a descent, something that could mean life or death. There's probably a dozen more things this could be used for that I can't even think of.

This could actually be a really potent thing. It's hard enough as is to hit a moving opponent and lead correctly, but the whole dynamic changes if your opponent can jet burst from cover to cover, or even change speeds on the fly. The latter is especially tricky as you wouldn't notice until it already happened, meaning you aren't hitting anything today.

The title of this is sort of click-batey don't you think? 18 seconds is a good improvement but a four minute mile it is not.

now all we need to do is making a bracelet with jets "ROCKET PUNCH"!

This would work better with a large prop, these tiny ducted fans are not very efficient.

Pyrian:

EndlessSporadic:
Keep in mind that the overall energy required to finish the mile is lower as well. Even if you had to wear a 2-ton thing on your back, it wouldn't matter as long as it makes you exert less energy than required to hold it. Exhaustion is a huge issue and is a large contributor to casualties. I'd totally wear a 10-pound thing on my back if it would cause less overall exhaustion.

Carrying an extra 10 pounds all day for slightly less exertion for a few minutes does not remotely result in less overall exertion; quite the opposite.

EndlessSporadic:
Keep in mind that for those of us who actually exercise, 10 pounds focused on your back is absolutely nothing at all.

10 pounds will measurably impair speed and endurance, no matter how much you exercise. F=MA is not magically suspended by being in shape. And they're already carrying, what, 50+ pounds of kit into battle? Weapons, ammunition, gear. And that kit is already very carefully determined to be at the top of what the military considers acceptable encumbrance.

Was going to quote your reply to me, but this seems just as well.

Specifically to the point here, and one you made in your reply to me, this would be adding ~11 lbs to a kit the soldier's already carrying. The standard infantry loadout at the moment varies from ~90-110lbs. So this awkward, heavy prototype unit is only adding just over 10% of weight to their kit. As I'd previously mentioned, before this thing would ever go live, it'll get smaller, lighter, and harder, as it is with all battlefield technology.

Your points are valid, but you have to start somewhere with the tech, and here it is. Improve on this, and they'll one day get where they want to go.

tangoprime:
...this would be adding ~11 lbs to a kit the soldier's already carrying. The standard infantry loadout at the moment varies from ~90-110lbs. So this awkward, heavy prototype unit is only adding just over 10% of weight to their kit.

Combat kit is ~65 lbs (source), which is already well above the recommended 50 lbs. Marching kit goes well above 100 lbs., but not without consequences (source). And we're only talking about a 5.6% speed increase.

tangoprime:
As I'd previously mentioned, before this thing would ever go live, it'll get smaller, lighter, and harder, as it is with all battlefield technology.

I'm not at all convinced that this can be made sufficiently more powerful AND lighter AND harder (AND without other side effects) without major fundamental breakthroughs in energy technology.

This is a completely inefficient and costly method of attempting to improve a very specific scenario. This runner is on flat terrain, of which there are countless other cheaper methods of improving their speed.

For this technology to be efficient at all we will need to have developments in producing the same power from a smaller piece of equipment. This is just an act of combining current technology into a specific package, not developing those component parts.

Maybe when we have a jet engine that can produce 2x the power and is half the size will this be even slightly cost-effective. Until then, spend more time on actual, functional improvements and not on what is essentially a leaf blower taped to some guy's back.

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