Spring in your step?
In theory, it could make you run an awful lot faster.
A spring-powered device attached to human legs could, in theory at least, boost sprinting speed by more than 50% without external energy input, according to a new study. Amanda Sutrisno and David J Braun from Vanderbilt University in the US say such a (currently hypothetical) device would enable the wearer to supply energy in mid-air by simultaneously compressing and increasing the stiffness of the springs. During touchdown, the energy stored in the springs would release, redirecting the wearer’s vertical momentum to help propel them forward.
“Our finding uncovers the hidden potential of human performance augmentation via unpowered robotic exoskeletons,” the researchers write in a paper in the journal Science Advances. “Our result may lead to a new-generation of augmentation devices developed for sports,