Researchers at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering have invented biomechanical shorts that are able to help people walk or even sprint. We truly are in the future.
These shorts were revealed last Thursday and are basically an adaption of the exoskeleton, which weigh just over 10 pounds and contains a small engine that is able to activate cables that can help the legs to move. No matter what speed the wearer is going at, the shorts are able to assist. This rather reminds us of the Superman movie or cartoons – could a pair of shorts really help someone sprint faster?
Biomechanical shorts, an accessory in the service of performance
“Walking or running are two very different modes of travel and the already existing machines are concentrated in their design on one or the other,” says Conor Walsh, one of the main people involved in the project.
“In the end, it could allow someone in good health to improve their performance or reduce the fatigue of a soldier tramping with his equipment. I think that with this machine we take a big step to devices capable of assisting people in a variety of ways in the activities of their daily lives,” he says.
One of the amazing things about these shorts is that they include 3 sensors that are, in the vast majority of the time, able to predict and find out the activity of the wearer and then make adjustments to cater for it.
We mentioned earlier that there is a battery included in the shorts. This battery is only designed to last for about 15 miles, since anything larger would become a major hindrance.
For now, these shorts are still in development, but it’s easy to see the potential. Plenty more testing needs to be done before it becomes a commercial product.