April 1, 2015

Springing Ahead of Nature: Device Increases Walking Efficiency

(April 1, 2015)  It’s taken millions of years for humans to perfect the art of walking. But research results published today in the journal Nature show that humans can get better “gas mileage” using an unpowered exoskeleton to modify the structure of their ankles. The device puts an extra spring in each human step, reducing metabolic energy consumption by 7 percent below walking in normal athletic shoes.

The finding may benefit both able-bodied people who are frequently on their feet – think of the military infantry or athletic baby-boomers, for example – as well as those who have been victims of stroke or other gait impairments.

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