If you've ever tried to learn how to skate, you know it's not as easy as it sounds. Most people never get to master the art of skating, and for good reason: it's really hard! At least I gave up after a couple of ruinous "potato sack" crashes. I prefer fast walking, that's it. No, not even the scooter. Yeah, I fell out of that too. There micro-mobility it's beautiful, but I wouldn't live in it. Not without four wheels underneath, I say: I'm my age.
E the new Duo? Also, it doesn't convince me. "Of course you are really insatiable," you will tell me. Eh. But this gadget intrigued me. Hear it here.
What if I told you that there is a way to do a fast Michael Jackson "Moon walking" walk, like you have a treadmill under your feet? You know the question is rhetorical. If I say it, it is because it exists.
Moonwalker, walk three times as fast. Auh.
How to call them? Shoes with wheels? Skates 2.0? I don't know: but these contraptions allow you to walk and run at almost three times the speed. + 250%, to be precise. And they don't have any learning curve, they're just as easy to use as walking on one of those conveyor belts you find at airports.
A team of engineers from Carnegie Mellon University has transformed a research into a startup, the Shift Robotics. Each unit to put on the feet is equipped with a 300 watt electric motor that moves a set of 8 wheels arranged over the entire surface of the sole (therefore not aligned as in the skates).
Guess what? Yes, even here there are some middle algorithms: they collect the data of the motion sensors these shoes are equipped with, and automatically regulate the power of the electric motors. This means that brisk walking will follow our usual pace, but producing a truly remarkable result.
Stable, portable, decisive
Moonwalkers aren't mini scooters - they don't want to overdo it. They are calibrated to a maximum speed of 11 kilometers per hour, and even then "brakes" in less than two meters. You can also go up the stairs, with a gesture of the foot the electric motors are blocked and off you go.
Their autonomy is also minimal: 10 kilometers of fast assisted walking allow you to cover even an interesting radius, leaving the car at home and solving problems of the last mile. If you want to continue "natural," then, they are light and not bulky: they are put in a backpack when not in use.
A big bang with crowdfunding
I said everything, but the essential is missing: the Moonwalkers, it must be said, are a unique means of transport, but they are not cheap. Shift Robotics is raising money on Kickstarter with the goal of reaching $ 90.000 to cover production costs. Currently the campaign has raised $ 51.000, so I would say we're well under way.
Kudos to those who are investing: pre-orders can now get a pair of Moonwalkers for the "Early Bird" price of $ 999. The retail cost will be approximately $ 1.400. On the other hand, they must be considered the middle way between a pair of shoes and a vehicle: while you think about it, however, my fast walk is to get away :)
Michael would have liked them anyway.