A robotic exosuit has been developed that will completely change how you workout in the future.
Researchers from Wyss Institute and Harvard SEAS have created a soft robotic exosuit that boosts a person’s running performance significantly.
“Homo sapiens has evolved to become very good at distance running, but our results show that further improvements to this already extremely efficient system are possible,” says study co-author Philippe Malcolm, Ph.D.
Right now it works using a tether and external power supply, but the plan in the future is to create a portable version that will allow athletes to smash existing running records without having to train for them.
Imagine that? A piece of clothing that can turn you into a super athlete every time you go for a jog.
They determined the suit’s abilities by putting it to work on a treadmill, where they discovered that it could reduce the metabolic cost of running by 5.4 percent. What is metabolic cost you ask?
It’s the amount of oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide produced while running, and such a reduction can make a 26.2-mile marathon feel like 24.9 miles.
So how does it work exactly? It’s all in the hips; there’s a lot of hip extension when we run, and by adding to the action, it creates an extraordinary effect.
“As subjects ran on a treadmill wearing the exosuit, the actuation unit pulled on the wires, which acted as a second pair of hip extensor muscles applying force to the legs with each stride.”
It’s adding extra muscles to your body by applying force in all the right places. This needs to exist for public consumption immediately.
The plan is for researchers to test the suit’s ability on the road and different terrain, therefore a portable suit is the next step.
“Our goal is to develop a portable system with a high power-to-weight ratio so that the benefit of using the suit greatly offsets the cost of wearing it,” said co-author G. Lee in a statement.
“We believe this technology could augment the performance of recreational athletes and/or help with recovery after injury.”