Reinvent small daily actions. This is often the starting point for a start-up, regardless of its field of activity. It is this idea that also guides the development of Shift Robotics, a company born in Pittsburgh in the United States.
The starting point is very simple. Walking is a fairly slow and poorly optimized action. The company therefore sought a way to make walking faster and easier. In order to achieve such a result, she focused on shoes of the future, equipped with small wheels that are reminiscent of rollerblades.
Despite their appearance, they are not rollerblades
The “Moonwalkers” as they were baptized would be able, according to the designers, to accelerate the speed of walking by 250%. The brand assures it, it is not a new pair of futuristic rollerblades, but rather special walking shoes.
In a small demonstration, the team behind the development of this project shows that you have to put on the “Moonwalkers” over a pair of classic shoes. Then the magic happens.
Shift Robotics explains that the eight small wheels fixed under the shoes will then accelerate the rhythm and the output of each step to make walking much faster. With a maximum speed of 11 km/h, the shoes are capable of making you walk at the speed of a good jog.
In the video presentation, the shoes really give the impression of “sliding” on the ground. Funded through a kickstarter, these shoes should be available in the coming months. Today it is one of the most popular projects on the crowdfunding platform.
A very popular project on Kickstarter
With a target of 90,000 dollars, the contract is more than fulfilled, the company having managed to obtain more than 200,000 euros in the deal. Today the price needed to be part of the first wave of deliveries is $1099.
From a technical point of view, the shoes are entitled to their own internal software to calculate the correct walking speed. The challenge is to succeed in accelerating the pace of walking without unbalancing the owner of the shoes.
Shift Robotics also explains that the wheel system can be disabled with a flick of the foot. A specific movement allows the system to be blocked with an emergency brake. The creators of the shoes explain that this functionality is essential as soon as you have to climb stairs or for indoor use (in the office for example)?
Are shoes that work “on their own”, so that’s the future?
As surprising as it may seem, Shift Robotics is not the first company to develop such a mode of travel. Other companies, such as the well-known Segway, which offers electric skates with a rendering quite similar to the Shift Robotics solution.
In any case, the young company from Pittsburgh offers a practical and light solution (only two kilograms on the scale). Although the project is still under development, the company hopes that the first models of its “magic” shoes can be delivered in the coming months.