Get to your destination in less than half the time with a 100 per cent increase in your walking speed
A U.S. start-up, Shift Robotics of Pittsburgh, has launched a Kickstarter campaign for what they claim is the world’s fastest shoe. The “Moonwalker” apparently let you walk at the speed of a run while maneuvering stairs, through crowds, hills and even getting on public transit.
Late to work, and don’t want to run? The Moonwalkers will help you get to your destination in less than half the time it would normally take you to walk there with a 100 per cent increase in your walking speed. The shoes use artificial intelligence (AI) to measure your gait and react to how you walk, reaching the top speed of 12 km/h in a matter of seconds.
The shoes have two modes, lock and shift–and they only move when you do. This means you can go up and down stairs, step into mass transit, and confidently wait at the crosswalk while the AI switches modes using an algorithm to adapt to your walking gait and environment. The shoes have a hinge system that allows your foot to naturally bend at your toes, preserving your natural gait, mobility and balance.
Like all great inventions, the idea behind these shoes came from a near-death experience for founder Xunjie Zhang, who almost got hit by a car while commuting to work in Pittsburgh. Once he graduated from Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute, Xunjie teamed up with a group of race-car engineers, roboticists and sneaker designers to do one thing–pack everything you find in an electric vehicle into a shoe, so that you can effortlessly walk at a running speed.
In the three days since the Kickstarter campaign began, the company has raised over CAD $170,000 ($20,000 over its initial goal). The shoes can be pre-ordered now for March 2023, but they will come at a cost of USD $1,399. Unfortunately, the Moonwalkers will only come in one size, which will best fit men between size nine and 12, and women between 10.5 and 13.
The Strava police will have to be on alert for Moonwalkers chasing segments when these puppies hit the open market in the summer of 2023.