Jetpacks For Faster Running

September 17, 2014


Jetpacks could be coming to a city near you. Arizona State University is working on a project called 4MM that straps jetpacks onto people’s backs to help them run faster. Before you get too excited, we should note that these jetpacks aren’t the ones that make you fly; they just help you run on the ground.

The goal of this student project is to see if the common man can break the four-minute mile. Faculty member Jason Kerestes is the man who’s leading this project, and DARPA is funding it. That means that we could see these in the military very soon, if they don’t have them already.

The challenge with jetpacks has always been to make a man fly — and to find a way to do it safely. But for this specific venture, they’ve shelved the thoughts of Boba Fett and the Rocketeer.

Instead, they’ve toned down the amount of force that the jetpacks produce so that flight is not an option, but anyone wearing it will still get instantaneous thrust.

With the jetpack on, the user will be able to accelerate more quickly, run faster and be more agile.

Although a lot of guys will see this and start salivating about it as a really cool toy, it actually does have some practical purposes: Jetpacks could become a really important asset to certain service members in the military.

Remember, there are men and women tasked with dangerous missions where they need to get in and out very quickly, and the speed of their movement could mean the difference between life and death.

Although 4MM is still in the prototype phase, the results have been impressive. A one-mile test with a soldier saw him shave 18 seconds off his running time.

That means he’s running faster while carrying 11 pounds more with the jetpack, so if they can make it lighter the speed will likely increase. Now think about those 18 extra seconds getting in and out of a war zone or a hostage situation, and it becomes clear why this jetpack could be so important.

This totally looks like something Q would hand James Bond, so while they work on it for real-life purposes, we’re still off in dreamland wondering when we’ll get a test run for ourselves.

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