Want to Run Faster? This Old-School Concept Might Hold the Answer.
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How fast can you run a mile? Ten minutes? Six? A group of researchers want you to lower your time to four minutes -- by wearing a jetpack.
Yeah, by strapping on an 11-pound jetpack backpack. (Say that a few times fast.)
Created by researchers at Arizona State University, the project is called 4MM, because its goal is for a person to able to run a four-minute mile. Specifically, they want people in the military to be able to move faster on foot.
"If you think of Navy Seal or an Army soldier that has to get in somewhere quick, do whatever the gotta do, but maybe get out of there just as quickly, these devices can not only help soldiers accomplish their goals but save lives as well," says Jason Kerestes, an Arizona State graduate who helped develop the 4MM.
Check out the 4MM in action:
In trial runs, the test subject improved his mile time from 5 minutes and 20 seconds without the jetpack to 5 minutes and two seconds with it. That doesn't sound like much of an improvement, but we should note the extra weight of the pack and that the person exerted less energy, the group says.
Maybe the 4MM project defeats the purpose of the jetpack since, you know, you don't actually fly anywehere. But if they can create a lighter version then perhaps it can have some real-world applications -- especially in the military, like the researchers suggest.