Turbo thrust for soldiers to run 2.4km in 6 mins

Turbo thrust for soldiers to run 2.4km in 6 mins
Moving a few seconds faster than your enemy can make a huge difference in the battlefield, and it could even be the difference between life or death.

When was the last time you managed to run 2.4km in under six minutes?

Unless your name happens to be Usain Bolt, chances are, you will never smell six minutes (while humanly possible, it is the specialty of middle-distance athletes. And no, Usian Bolt is a sprinter, not a middle-distance runner).

The US Defence Department's agency in charge of creating terminators, futuristic weapons and Star Wars spaceships - DARPA (Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency) hopes to fix that - with the help of a jetpack.

The brainchild behind this project is a team from the Arizona State University (ASU), and like every crazy idea, the genesis behind this jetpack was quite simple.

"We were developing robots that could assist amputees," Professor Thomas Sugar from ASU's Human Machine Integration Laboratory said.

"DARPA asked if we could develop robots that could assist able-bodied people and make them be able to run faster, or do things that they couldn't do before."

The project, known as 4MM, or 4 Minute Mile (1 mile = 1.60934 km), was later funded by DARPA. 

Moving a few seconds faster than your enemy can make a huge difference in the battlefield, and it could even be the difference between life or death.

Jason Kerestes, who is part of the 4MM project team, said: "If you think of a Navy Seal or an Army soldier that has to get in or out of somewhere quickly, not only can these devices help them to accomplish their goals and mission, but potentially save human lives as well."

The jetpack is not meant to replace running per se, but is meant to augment the human movement with instantaneous thrust, the graduate from ASU's Engineering school said.

During a 200m trial run, the test subject equipped with the 5kg-jetpack clocked 25 seconds, as opposed to 28 seconds when running without it.

What will this mean for the battlefield, especially when soldiers have to do fast marches in full battle order? Let us know in the forum below!

Video:

Jetpack helps soldiers run faster from ASU Research on Vimeo.

 

grongloh@sph.com.sg

More about

Purchase this article for republication.

BRANDINSIDER

SPONSORED

Most Read

Your daily good stuff - AsiaOne stories delivered straight to your inbox
By signing up, you agree to our Privacy policy and Terms and Conditions.