Jason Kerestes is a graduate student studying engineering at Arizona State University.
Not long ago, Jason was approached by a team from ASU’s Human Machine Integration Labs. They had heard that he owned his own welding business and wanted his help on a project they were working on designing robotic prosthetics to help amputees.
The project was being funded in part by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the agency responsible for developing new military technologies.
When DARPA saw the amazing work the team from ASU was doing, they asked Professor Thomas Sugar (who was leading the project) if he and Jason could develop robots that could assist able-bodied people, making them able to run faster, for example.
It was this inquiry that sparked the creation of the 4MM (4-Minute Mile), a jetpack designed by Kerestes, Sugar and the rest of the team from the Human Machine Integration Labs at ASU. The goal is to make any decent athlete (or soldier) able to run a 4-minute mile using the jetpack.
Initial tests showed that the team are well on their way: in a recent test, the jetpack cut a test runner’s 200-meter sprint time from 28 to 25 seconds.
What’s more impressive is that the jetpackv actually reduced metabolic cost (the amount of energy he exerted while running), despite the fact that he was carrying 11 extra pounds on his back.
Check out the video below to learn more about the project and see the jetpack in action:
(h/t IFL Science)