Transportation technology has become a big part of the tech world. Whether it's an electric bicycle, flying car, or any variety of safety technology, transportation is a big deal. Sometimes we see a truly new entry in the space, which is where Rollkers comes in - with a pair of enhanced shoes that look like roller skates, but function more like tank treads, and are designed to allow you to walk faster without having to do anything different.
Rollkers are a device that is designed to enhance your shoes. Now, that statement might not make a lot of sense on the surface, but the concept is actually pretty solid. You stand on top of these devices and strap them onto your favorite pair of shoes. Then, you simply walk like normal, but with the enhancements that the product provides.
The device really looks a lot like rollerskates. The big difference, however, is that the platform does not sit on top of 4 individual wheels, but instead on 6 wheels connected with treads. This allows them to function more like a moving walkway at the airport than they act like roller skates. That big difference is what makes the platform work the way it does.
To put it simply, Rollkers are intended to allow the wearer to walk at double normal speed without doing anything differently. Because of the way people walk, there is a lot of momentum lost at the end of each step. By adding the flat, rolling platform to the bottom of your feet, you can maintain some of that momentum and turn it into forward momentum. That momentum is then combined with motors to keep the treads moving to help maintain the momentum and augment the motion. This allows for a faster walking speed on the same stride and effort level.
To ensure that walking is natural, there is a lot of hidden technology inside. For example, the platforms are connected to one another using a wireless connection to ensure that the left and right sides are in sync. Maintaining consistent motion between the left and right will mean if one foot is moving faster, the system can compensate to make your stride more even and stable.
In addition, the devices contain an electronic controller to maintain stabilization, as well as provide motion assistance while walking. Using intelligent software, the stabilization system can prevent you from rolling over on an imperfection in the road or sidewalk. Together, these features are there to help keep you upright while the devices work to improve your motion.
Rollkers are currently in early development. Several prototype devices have been produced and are currently being tested and demonstrated. There is currently no announced release date, though the company is working to bring them to market as soon as they can. To learn more about the company and to follow the product's development journey, head to the company's website.
Scott is a developer who has worked on projects of varying sizes, including all of the PLUGHITZ Corporation properties. He is also known in the gaming world for his time supporting the rhythm game community, through DDRLover and hosting tournaments throughout the Tampa Bay Area. Currently, when he is not working on software projects or hosting F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Scott can often be found returning to his high school days working with the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), mentoring teams and helping with ROBOTICON Tampa Bay. He has also helped found a student software learning group, the ASCII Warriors, currently housed at AMRoC Fab Lab.