This Jetpack Could Help You Run A Four Minute Mile
A jetpack developed by a student from Arizona State University could become a lifesaver by giving soldiers a burst of speed in the field of battle and helping them to get out of tight spots. ASU Graduate Engineer, Jason Kerestes, worked in conjunction with consultants from the DARPA to develop the prototype jetpack, which was given the no nonsense title of 4MM. Fixed to the subject's back, the jet pack emits a thrust of air that is lower in intensity than that emitted from traditional jetpacks. This almost instantaneous thrust allows for short, sharp boosts to speed which have been proven to shave up to 20 seconds off an athlete's 1 mile sprint time despite the fact they are carrying an 11 lb load around with them.
DARPA first initiated contact with ASU when they caught wind of their efforts to develop robotics to assist amputees. The agency charged Professor Thomas Sugar of ASU's Human Machine Integration Lab with developing robotic solutions for able bodied subjects, specifically asking for something that could increase a subject's acceleration over short distances. For Kerestes, the benefits of such a technology were instantly recognizable.
"This could be the difference between life and death," says Kerestes. "If you think of a Navy SEAL or Army solider that has to get in somewhere quick, do whatever they have to do, and get out just as quickly, these devices can help soldiers not only accomplish their goals, but potentially save human lives."