Researchers at Arizona State University were asked by the Pentagon’s research arm if they could come up with robotic devices to give individuals superhuman abilities. It was at that point that the “4 Minute Mile” Project (4MM) was born.
Former ASU student and mechanical engineer Jason Kerestes teamed up with Dr. Thomas Sugar from ASU’s Human Machine Integration Laboratory, and it wasn’t long before their team’s project produced an experimental jetpack for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
“If you think of a Navy SEAL or an Army soldier that has to get in somewhere quick and do whatever they’ve gotta do, but maybe get out of there just as quickly, so these devices can really help soldiers to not only accomplish their goals and succeed in their missions, but potentially save human lives as well,” Mr. Kerestes said in a video produced by ASU, Business Insider reported Friday.
In a recent test trial with the 4MM jetpack, a subject was able to shave three seconds off a 200 meter sprint while carrying over 11 extra pounds on his back. The same test subject was able to run one mile in 5:02 with the jetpack, which was 18 seconds faster than his unassisted attempt.
“In a warfare type arena, this could potentially be the difference between life and death,” said Mr. Kerestes.
The two men believe that achieving a four minute mile with the device can happen and are continuing to perfect the machine’s overall design.