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July 28, 2009

Wearable Performance Enhancement

Advanced swimsuits will be banned starting in 2010. However, they are being used this year to increase speeds by up to 3-6%

Arena X-Glide, the polyurethane suit Germany's Paul Biedermann wore Sunday when he cut his time of a month ago by a startling 6 1/2 seconds and broke Ian Thorpe's 7-year-old world record in the 400-meter freestyle.

Since 2007, Biedermann has dropped six seconds in the 200 freestyle. Biedermann went 1 minute 42 seconds, and Phelps was second in 1:43.22. Last summer, Phelps won this race in a world-record 1:42.96 at the Olympics in Beijing and Biedermann was sixth in 1:46.


Biedermann seems to be 3-4% faster because of the swimsuit. Plus Phelps is wearing a suit that helps him as well but the superior suit provides even more advantage.


Powerbocking - Jumping Stilts

Powerbocking at wikipedia

Powerbocking is the act of jumping and running with elastic-like spring-loaded stilts. For some it is an extreme sport, for others it is a form of exercise or even a means of artistic expression. The use of the stilts to perform extreme jumping, running and acrobatics is known as 'Bocking' or 'PowerBocking' after the inventor

Each boot consists of a foot-plate with snowboard type bindings, rubber foot pad which is also commonly called a hoof, and a fibreglass leaf spring. Using only their weight, and few movements, the user is generally able to jump 3–5 ft (1–1.5 meters) off the ground and run up to 20 mph (32 km/h). They also give the ability to take up to 9-foot (2.7 meters) strides


DARPA is investigating powerbocking and exoskeletons. Computerized control and a motor could make powerbocking powerful and safer (with computer balance assistance.)

Springwalker offers similar benefits to powerbocking.

A 20 page PDF from 2000 of an analysis for DARPA on the springwalker.


If you were wearing a motorized springwalker with computer control then the 3 g force setting would provide a speed up to 31 mph. (45 feet/second)

Springwalker: Provides Excellent Interface between needs of human walking and running gaits and Servo Capabilities
– Without breaking new ground, enables new servo-powered capabilities
• 15 MPH for extended periods
• Carry 200 lb. at a fast walk for extended periods


Jumping stilts allow people to jump 6 feet high and run over 20 mph.







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