Science & Tech

Surreal AI shoes allow you to 'walk at the speed of run'

Surreal AI shoes allow you to 'walk at the speed of run'
'Moonwalkers': These AI-powered strap-on shoes can make you walk three times faster
TikTok/shiftrobotics

Brand new AI shoes have grabbed online attention as the stompers claim to enable wearers to be the "world's fastest shoe" that allows users to "walk at the speed of run."

The "Moonwalkers" can accelerate the wearer's walking speed up to 11 km/h (seven miles per hour), a 250 per cent speed increase which means those who use them can walk up to 2.5 times faster.

Shift Robotics, an American start-up is the company behind the motorised shoe, and while there are wheels on the design but you don't need to worry about maintaining your balance as they are not like rollerblades because they are not freewheeling and are secured with a magnetic buckle.

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While the AI's algorithm picks up on the user's walking behaviour in under 10 steps as it adapts your walking gait.

In terms of battery life, the shoes can be charged anywhere, anytime, with any USB-C PD charger and can be fully charged within 1.5 hours for over 6 miles of range.

Demonstration videos of the Moonwalkers in action quickly went viral on TikTok as people, with one clip receiving 25.6m views.

@shiftrobotics

What Are Moonwalkers??? ๐ŸŒ™ ๐Ÿ‘Ÿ Moonwalkers are the worldโ€™s fastest shoes that allow you to walk up to 7 mph, thats slightly double your average walking speed! ๐ŸŒŽ ๐Ÿ’จ Do you think this is the future of transportation? ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™‚๏ธ ๐Ÿ’จ #transportation #transportationdesign #moonwalkers #eshoes #electricshoes #worldsfastestshoes #ShiftRobotics #newtech #newgadgets #electrictransport #electrictechnology

The companyโ€™s founder and CEO, Xunjie Zhang came up with the Moonwalkers concept after he was almost hit by a car while commuting to work on a scooter.

"Like the moving walkways you see in airports, with every step you're making, the conveyer belt moves underneath your feet," Zhang explained to Insider.

"The faster you walk, the faster the shoes walk with you".

Zhang, who has a Master's in mechatronics from Carnegie Mellon University, worked alongside a team of race car engineers, roboticists, and footwear designers who took five years to build the shoes.

People from ages 15 to over 60 have tested the shoes out and Zhang told the publication they were able to walk in the shoes "pretty proficiently" within 10 to 15 minutes of getting them on.

On the product's Kickstarter crowdfunding page, it reads: "...a lot of people don't rely on walking. This is surprising, considering it's much safer, more convenient, and better for the environment. Plus it requires no added skill like bikes or skateboards."

"The problem is that it was just too slow and inefficient. So we made it our mission to enhance walking instead of replacing it."

So far, $329,409 has been raised on the Kickstarter page since it launched in October last year.

If you're interested in a pair of the Moonwalkers, they are only available in the US and a pair costs $1399 shift robotics according to Insider, the company has received over 2,000 orders for them as of May 2023.

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