Are you looking to get to from point A to point B just a little faster? In today’s busy world, it would make sense if you said yes. This is where Moonwalkers come in. They claim to be the ‘world’s fastest shoes.’ Moonwalkers are different than roller skates. Roller skates require skill, while moonwalkers are easy to learn. All you need to do is put them on, find some even ground, and glide your way around.
These shoes were designed by a group of robotics engineers who started the work at Carnegie Mellon University. Since then, they have shifted into a completely new startup called Shift Robotics. These shoes might remind one of regular roller skates. However, they do add some intelligence and power to the entire experience.
One of the Moonwalkers’ best features is the strap-on design. It allows the accessory to be paired off with every type of shoe. Every single unit also comes with a 300-watt electric motor that has the capability of powering a set of eight wheels. The wheels are made of polyurethane which is highly similar to what is present in inline skates.
But these wheels are far smaller and not located in a straight line. So one doesn’t really need any form of balancing. The sensors on the moonwalkers also monitor the gait of the individual. At the same time, there are several algorithms in place that adjust the power of the motors to match the synchronicity between the feet.
Why Walk When You Can Glide With Moonwalkers?
The CEO of Shift Robotics, Xunjie Zang, wrote, “Moonwalkers are not skates. They’re shoes. The world’s fastest shoes actually. You don’t skate in them, you walk. You don’t have to learn how to use them, the shoes learn from you. These are not something you lace up and wobble away on- they’re highly engineered additions to your shoes that you strap on and walk at the speed of a run.”
The company website also claims that this technology would make it possible for one to go up and down the stairs or even stop at an intersection without entertaining the fear of any crash. These shoes went on sale on Monday as a part of a campaign on Kickstarter– with the retail price set at $1,399. It has been mentioned that contributors to the Kickstarter fund would be receiving a discount.
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The Moonwalkers claim that these can increase the walking speed of any individual by 250%. This comes from the belief that the average speed of an individual is around 2.5 to 4 mph. These shoes have a top speed of 7 mph, and this would not shift even if the user is walking downhill. These shoes are also supposed to be viable on stairs with a special foot gesture that would be activating a mode that shuts down the wheels and prevents them from moving independently.
The Moonwalker has a battery-powered range of around six miles- so it can be a substitute for cars that are used for short commutes. One could also use it as a last-mile tool if parking a car nearby is a challenge.
The Internet Was Not Impressed Though
Nevertheless, the price tag set on the shoes could be a deterrent for people willing to buy them. One reader of the NY Post stated, “How about a $125 bike with a motor called ‘your 2 legs’ and doesn’t need charging? But buy these shoes for $1399 and you will be charging both the motor and your credit card.” Another user wrote, “At that price, it has no market viability. Some rich people might buy them as an oddity. This is going nowhere, not even at 7 mph.”
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- “The World’s Fastest Shoes Promise to Increase Your Walking Speed by 250%.” Gizmodo. Andrew Liszewski. October 2022.
- “‘World’s fastest shoes’ increase walking speed by 250%.” Independent. Anthony Cuthbertson. october 2022.
- “‘World’s fastest shoe’ claims it’ll make users walk 250% faster.” NY Post. Mark Lungariello. October 27, 2022.