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AI That Helps You Walk Fast

Motorized AI-assisted shoes claim to increase walking speed 250%.

Spencer Chin

August 4, 2023

They look like electric roller skates, but they’re not designed for roller blading. Instead, these motorized strap-on devices are designed to help humans walk, potentially at speeds much faster than they normally can.

Called Moonwalkers, the strap-on shoes were developed by a startup company called Shift Robotics, founded by Xunjie Zhang. Zhang, a graduate of Carnegie-Mellon University’s Robotics Institute, got the idea when he was hit by a car while riding an electric scooter to work a mile away. Zhang decided he needed to embrace walking, and teamed up with a group of race engineers, robotics specialists, and sneaker designers to design advanced technology that can help a human walk comfortably, but at closer to a running speed.

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The Moonwalkers rely on AI to sense a walker’s stride and in turn adjust the speed of the strap-on shoe. The shoe’s construction incorporates, among other components, brushless DC motors, precision machine gearbox, wheels, and custom control modules. Neuromuscular AI algorithms sense the user’s motion and communicates with the various electromechanical components to achieve smooth motion on a variety of surfaces, even hills.

A brief description of the shoe follows in the video:

According to information on the company’s website, the shoes can achieve a top speed of 7 mph with an average range of 6.5 miles, and weigh 4.2 lb. They fit over a variety of shoes and can fast charge via USB-C.

Related:AI Helps Create the Smart Stroller

The shoes are now available for $1,399. Shift Robotics recently began shipping the shoes to fulfill preorders with a $50 deposit.

About the Author(s)

Spencer Chin

Senior Editor, Design News

Spencer Chin is a Senior Editor with Design News, covering the electronics beat.

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