Jetpack Enables Anyone To Run A 4-Minute Mile

Blackwell Stith

See You Space Cowboy ...
Jun 28, 2014
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Jetpack Enables Anyone To Run A 4-Minute Mile

[vimeo=98084869]

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 [http://researchmatters.asu.edu/videos/jetpack-helps-soldiers-run-faster], 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 [http://researchmatters.asu.edu/videos/students-solve-industry-challenges-through-iprojects], which brings students and industry together to find innovative solutions to real-world problems.

Source: Pocket-lint [http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/130894-jetpack-developed-to-let-anyone-run-a-4-minute-mile] via Arizona State University

Want more awesome inventions? Check out this robot [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/137397-Harvard-Team-Builds-Soft-Robot-That-Withstands-Dangerous-Conditions] that can survive being run over by a car!

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kajinking

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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.
 

Lazy Kitty

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

Veldel

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

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

Pinkamena

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Rex Dark said:
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.
 

Daaaah Whoosh

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

Pyrian

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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...
 

tangoprime

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Veldie said:
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.
 

Slegiar Dryke

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Daaaah Whoosh said:
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
 

Silvianoshei

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kajinking said:
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.
 

tangoprime

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Pyrian said:
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.
 

DTWolfwood

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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
 

Pyrian

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tangoprime said:
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 said:
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 said:
...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 said:
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.
 

Callate

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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.
 

Aeshi

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Merlark said:
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.
 

hermes

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Rex Dark said:
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...
 

KDR_11k

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Daaaah Whoosh said:
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.
 

NuclearKangaroo

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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
 

Makabriel

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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..