An ankle exoskeleton from Stanford scientists increases running speed by 10%. Description of the development published in the journal Science Robotics.
Usually exoskeletons are created in order to reduce the load on the muscles and increase the ability of a person to carry goods. Another popular application is to restore working ability to older people who themselves cannot overcome long distances or lift heavy objects.
In the new work, the researchers were guided by another goal – “to make the exercise more attractive or more practical”. Their development is not a portable exoskeleton, but its imitation – a mechanism is put on the user’s feet, which is powered by a large engine system, which in its present form can only be used in the laboratory.
According to the researchers, this is enough to find out whether the mechanism will help the muscles involved in running to work longer and more efficiently. After that, the device will be reduced to full suitability for everyday wear.
Testing the device on a treadmill, in which 11 experienced runners took part, showed that the exoskeleton allows you to spend 15% less energy on running and increases the speed of the runner by 10%.