Kineticstep: a crowdfunded 'exoskeleton' that wants to take all the effort out of walking
When we think of an exoskeleton, we may imagine one along the lines of those in movies such as Alien or Avatar. However, a Russian engineer, Andrey Guskov, has apparently started on a slightly smaller scale than that. His invention, the Kineticstep, is more like a pair of mechanical sandals than anything.
Nevertheless, this device is promoted by Guskov as the latest and best way to power walking through extraneous, artificial means. They apparently promise to take all the stress and strain out of these movements, so that the user can make it 2 to 3 times further on foot than they normally would.
Guskov reportedly had people with walking impairments due to injuries, medical conditions or age in mind when designing the Kineticstep. He claims that it augments the normal movements associated with this activity through harnessing the 'pendulum principle'. According to him, incorporating the relevant motion was the main engineering challenge in designing the Kineticstep.
The "exoskeleton" is currently available as a reward as part of an Indiegogo campaign. Each Kineticstep is priced at US$760, which is an apparent 52% saving on the eventual planned retail price. However, at the time of writing (October 1, 2018), it has not attracted any contributions towards its $60,000 fixed goal. It will be interesting to see if the Kineticstep can propel itself to success, or if it will walk right into the realm of vaporware instead.