A company of robotic engineers has invented shoes that they claim are capable of boosting a wearer’s walking speed by up to 250 per cent. The battery-powered shoes, called Moonwalkers, look like skates but are powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and an algorithm that the company says helps the wearers walk normally without any hand control. Shift Robotics, the company that has created them, is a spin-off from Carnegie Mellon University in the United States. They have a strap-on design that allows these Moonwalkers to be used with any pair of shoes.
“Moonwalkers are not skates. They’re shoes. The world’s fastest shoes actually,” Xunjie Zang, founder and CEO of Shift Robotics, said in a release published on the company’s website last week.
“You don’t skate in them. You walk. You don’t have to learn how to use them, the shoes learn from you,” the founder further said.
According to Gizmodo, the Moonwalkers have eight polyurethane wheels, just like skates. However, these wheels are much smaller and are not in single line, the outlet further said. They are powered by a 300-watt electric motor.
Using the sensors, the AI monitors the way a wearer walks and the algorithm automatically adjust the power of the motors to match and synchronise the speed, increasing and decreasing it as the user walks faster or slower.
The claim that these shoes increase the wearer’s walking speed by 250 per cent is based on the analysis that people’s average walking speed is 2.5-4mph (4-6.4Kmph), Gizmodo further said.
The Moonwalkers also have a special provision for use on stairs that locks the wheels and prevents them from rolling freely. The company says that the brake distance of these shoes is about two feet on a dry road.
The New York Post said that the Moonwalkers went on sale on Monday as part of a Kickstarter campaign. They have been priced $1,399 (Rs 1,15,332) and the deliveries are expected to begin from March 2023.