- exoskeletons of the ankle could help you run longer and faster and even serve as a new mode of transportation, according to a team of engineers from Stanford University.
Engineers have tested a motorized exoskeleton implant that attaches around the ankle and foot and found that makes the ride 15% easier. They explained that when the exoskeleton's motor is turned on, it reduces the energy cost of running and allows the user to run for longer than they are normally able to. The device it can also increase a runner's speed by up to 10%.
Here's how the ankle exoskeleton works
The device's motors traction a cable that runs across the back of the implant, from the heel to the calf. This mechanism helps lift the foot from its toe, extending the ankle at the end of each step.
The enhanced assistance took a lot of the energy load off the calf muscles. It was very springy and very springy compared to normal running. Speaking from experience, it's really nice. When the device provides this assistance, you feel like you can run forever.Stanford University team member and student Delaney Miller
The team also tried to make the ankle exoskeleton mimic the movement of a spring, as our legs act very much like a spring when we run. But this type of configuration (not without surprise for the researchers) made the race for those who tested the device much more difficult, and for this reason it was abandoned.
Engineers believe that this exoskeleton and similar technologies could be used for various applications.
Guan Rong Tan, another team member, suggested that in the future "you could get off a bus, touch a button on the exoskeleton and walk the last 2 kilometers of the route to get to work in 5 minutes and without getting tired."
It could also help me run alongside my best friends, accustomed to seeing me give up halfway.