Jetpack Enables Anyone To Run A 4-Minute Mile


With this jetpack developed by an engineering graduate from ASU, anyone could run long distances faster and more efficiently.

Jason Kerestes, an engineering graduate from Arizona State University, is the brains behind an interesting project. Working in tandem with DARPA and faculty mentor Doctor Thomas Sugar, Kerestes is developing a jetpack that, despite not bestowing the gift of flight upon the user, can give an extra boost to someone when running.

The project, known as the 4 Minute Mile (4MM), was born from a request by the military to upgrade their soldiers. The desire was to have any of their personnel able to run a 4 minute mile- hence the project’s name. The jetpack sits on the lower back of the wearer with two thrusters exerting force back and down, which provides a forward driving force and also a small amount of lift. Wearing the device results in faster running times for the user.

In its current stage, the unit’s weight forces the runner to carry an extra 11.2 pounds. However, in a 200 meter run test, the runner wearing the jetpack was able to reduce his completion time and metabolic cost, or the amount of exerted energy needed to complete a task. The test subject was also able to run a mile in 5 minutes and 2 seconds while wearing the device- allowing for an 18 second improvement over running the mile without it. Kerestes is now refining his design to be as efficient as possible.

The 4MM project is part of an ASU program called iProjects, which brings students and industry together to find innovative solutions to real-world problems.

Source: Pocket-lint via Arizona State University

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