at Carnegie Mellon and North Carolina State universities have come up with an
unpowered boots that reduces the metabolic energy spent on walking by
approximately 7 percent.
Boots help people with limited lower body strength to get back a more natural
way of walking. It reflects the function of the walker's calf muscle and
Achilles tendon, saving energy.
mechanical clutch in the boots puts tension on the spring when the foot is
touching the ground but leaves it loose when the foot lifts and swings forward
through the air.
clutch takes over the effort of the calf, producing force without consuming any
energy and thereby reducing the overall metabolic rate.
Dr Steven Collins,
Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon, said, "We're
hopeful that designs that use similar techniques can help people who have had a
stroke walk more easily. We're still a little ways away from doing that, but we
certainly plan to try."
The researchers developed a carbon-fiber design that is ultra-light. The boots weighs one pound per leg and is natural to wear.