Scientists have added another invention to their smart wardrobe. This time they are sports cycling shorts, complemented by a robotic mechanism. You can run, walk, do physical exercises in them. According to the developers, the exosuit saves the athlete's energy and, moreover, adds efficiency to the athletic performance.
Outwardly, such "smart" clothes look like ordinary cycling shorts of a tight-fitting silhouette, but unlike the standard sports model, robotic shorts weigh about 5 kg (the developers promise to reduce their weight in the future) and have a more complex device. They have a variety of sensors in their design, as well as a motor mechanism attached to the waist and connected to the athlete's legs by wires. The battery is also attached to the lower back. Its charge should be enough for 8,000 meters. The motor unit on the belt of the device provides additional impulse to the hips, which allows the legs to flex and extend more easily during sports activities. The robotic shorts help the muscles move the knee joints, making it easier to move.
A motor mechanism located on the back of the sports shorts begins to pull up a special cable at the moment when the foot is almost on the ground, which helps to extend the legs and conserves the athlete's own strength.
The creation of a robotic shorts was not done without artificial intelligence. Smart technologies help the sports exosuit find the most efficient way to walk or run. The suit calculates the speed, trajectory of movement, and special sensors help to accurately determine when the athlete is running or moving calmly.
As part of the experiment, "smart" suits were offered to test nine volunteers. The test task consisted of a five-minute treadmill running and the same five-minute walk. In the first case, the participants wore a robotic suit, in the second they did not. Despite its rather large weight, if we take into account the usual sportswear, the subjects did not complain about the additional load due to the severity of the suit.
According to the results of the tests, the researchers measured the physical parameters of the participants while exercising on a treadmill with and without the use of "robotic shorts". In the first case, it turned out that the metabolic costs of athletes while running decreased by 4%, and while walking - by 9%. In addition, when using the exosuit, participants felt several kilograms lighter than their actual weight.
At this stage, development is a prototype. Its creation is driven by experimental research to test the effectiveness of a similar mechanism in general. Based on the results of successful tests, the creators plan to develop the rest of the exosuit, which will be useful for those who experience heavy daily physical activity.
The target audience for such a "smart" wardrobe may be rescue services, the military, as well as lovers of long-distance hikes. At the same time, the current version of the "roboshorts" has some limitations. So, the suit looks a little cumbersome due to additional mechanisms in the lower part, which will prevent, for example, from taking a large tourist backpack with you. Also, the entire structure weighs 5 kg, although the developers promise that the next model will be almost twice as light.
The Topic of Article: Scientists have come up with robotic shorts to simplify sports activities.