The Viridian Design Movement

Viridian Note 00426: Foot Augmentation

Key concepts
bizarre footgear , odd forms of muscle-powered transport, jumping boots, stilts, body armor
Attention Conservation Notice:
time-consuming links to bizarre curiosities that may well make a Segway look as practical as a can-opener. You probably shouldn't have read that last Viridian Note, the one that came without any Attention Conservation Notice.


The termite-mound mapping business has got to be one of the weirdest pitches ever in BUSINESS WEEK.

We couldn't call ourselves Viridian if we didn't tip the hat to the "Fly-Eating Ecobot."

Tor Kristensen remarks:

"A plum job has landed in my lap here in Copenhagen. We've been picked to develop 5 simulations on the topic of Extreme Weather and Climate Change for the European Environmental Agency (EEA).

"Specifically, the simulations are being seen as small 'games' aimed at a 10-13 year old age range as part of the EcoAgent website.


"The input of the Viridian movement at large could be a big help here! Topics that EEA would like to be covered in the simulations are: Air Pollution, Climate Change, Transport, Waste and Chemicals. Water Pollution.

"For those with a technical bent, the simulation framework is essentially a port of the Swarm (Sante Fe Institute) framework, from Java to FlashMX2004, ActionScript 2.0. Since this is going to be running on any Flash compatible machine, we have to choose our targets with an eye for ease of computation. This means modeling at more of an acre level resolution, as opposed to the inch by inch simulation, and tweaking equations for speed. We?re probably going to be using a multi-layer isometric interface so that atmosphere, terrain, and underground models can be composited."

"Question, Comments, Suggestions, and Mad Ideas can be sent to: tor.kristensen*"

David Bostock's Extensive Study of Various Foot Augmentation Devices

By: David Bostock (no email given)

Current and fabulous, but I've not ordered yet.

The "Powerskip."

Velocity Motion Stilts

The AntiGravity dance team has boots
"under development."

Below are web resources relative to
walking/running/jumping augmentation items, and possible safety equipment for use with them.

Web page of running augmentation - links page

Stride Augmentation - with links

Jumping Shoes

These devices may be the most nearly safe of currently available devices for people of low athletic ability . Kangoo Jumps & Flying Shoes: two brands of jumping shoes that have large elliptical springs. The "Flying Shoes" feature a boot-like binder that fits over shoes. BOSSBI does not seem to sell the Pro version of Kangoo Jumps.
Sells normal and pro model of kangoo. Kangoo Pro Model rated up to 300 lbs.
[KJ5 Pro model is out of stock in US & Canada till April 2004]
Moon Shoes, 180lb Max, Max size 9 mens Shoe fits binding. Wearable mini trampoline configuration.

Jumping Stilts

[ DANGER Will Robinson, DANGER ! ]
Powerskips are German made. Pro model has ankle articulation, better for running .

Powerisers are Korean made, much less expensive. Note that illustration for adult model now shoes upper leg to stem straps similar to children's model.
Korean maker. - USASales
Poweriser USA Sales
USA Sales

Users – Yahoo group set up and controlled by superdairyboy

Max's Poweriser page - interesting knee binding.
About 4/5 way down. 7 UP "Delivery Truck" (right column) Mark Maxham is on the far left in about the middle FrontToBack. Powerskip -

USA distributers from web page

Prototype Spring Power Running Boots
[I think these are potentially the best for running, lockup position would be good for compact on-leg storage, Festo Fluidic Muscle (lighter weight, better spring performance, adjust air-pressure for different body weights ?) or Russian "Viscoelastic piston" Boot-Runner power could make them even more amazing]

Festo, Airhopper Sport Shoe, Fluidic Muscle technology [The Festo Airhopper was done only for demonstration of a pneumatic power strut that gets shorter and fatter as air pressure is increased, it was not a prototype of something to be produced. The technology goes back to the 1950's but may have been vastly improved by Festo, supposedly high efficency. ],24195,3391749,00.html,12543,184468,00.html PopSci text -> The pneumatic tube on the back powers the Airhopper. But even with their aluminum frames, the Airhoppers weigh close to 50 pounds ... The Nitty Gritty - Sorry, these are still very much a prototype.
Closest Thing You Can Afford - Nike's $150 Shox give you bounce in a tidier package.
[Bought a pair of Nike's Shox, very good feeling for running, but no unusual bounce character sensed. Thin, quick wearing soles]

Very High Performance Pogo Sticks – Prototypes [June 10, 2004] Flybar pogo stick - prototype Irwin Arginsky, general manager of SBI Enterprises, the Ellenville, New York .
Arginsky says his company is working on an "ultimate" pogo stick model that has a 300-lb capacity and can attain heights greater than 5 ft. New, very high performance adult pogo-stick

Late 1960's Gas Powered Pogo Stick
Gas powered pogo-stick.
Now an near unobtainable & expensive collectible. Reported to be painful and dangerous in use.

Convertible Skates to Shoes - Shoes with retractable skate wheels
See Heelys Vendor Links for good product views.

Bicycle Helmet

With built in overhead rear-view mirror sytem.
use Reevu as search term to find UK international sale vendors. No USA vendors at this time.
helmet was purchased several weeks ago by a friend.

BODY ARMOR (downhill mountain bike)

Azonic Z-5 Body Armor (poor reviews)
Brands that had padded shorts available listed below.

Bombshell B1 Ultra Bomber Jacket
Bombshell B2 Padded Shorts

Crash Pads Upper Body Top
Crash Pads Mountain Bike Short
Crash Pads Mountain Bike Pant

SixSixOne Pressure Suit '03
SixSixOne Bomber "Under" Shorts
SixSixOne MTX Pant
SixSixOne Comp Pant

Rockgardn Flak Jacket
Rockgardn CYA SHORTS
[My preference style/price wise, no first hand knowledge of body armor]

EVS BJ2 Ballistic Jersey
EVS PPO2 Impact Short
EVS LP01 Ballistic Pant

(Dainese: apparently the best, very expensive.) Dainese Safety Jacket '03
Dainese Shuttle Pro Full Body Armor '03

*** GLOVES with built in wrist guards *** -Roces Aggressive Wrist Guard Glove
-Harbinger 110G WristWrap Glove
-Triple Eight Gloves - Removable splints in front AND BACK of wrists. - "Hired Hands"
(No brand seems to have a model with fingertips.) -
Hired Hands Bumsavers padded shorts
Triple8 retailer
[ Nice stuff, too bad the too fancy page is too wretched to navigate ] ( I probably will try gloves over ordinary inline skating wrist guards already owned. Skating wrist guards are intended to slide along the ground during a fall forward. Wrist guards for Carpel Tunnel wrist disease should not be confused with these guards. )
from above article "CTI 2's, X-oskeleton, EVS models" CTI hit -
X-oskeleton hit More "EVS knee" hits

In cold climates safety equipment used for the game of Hockey may be a better and/or less expensive solution.

Sapogi-Skorokhody Boot Runners
Saigak [Southern Siberia Antelope]
Boots Gas Powered Boots Rocket Boots etc.
American enthusiast web page with most information on Russian Quick-Walking Boots that I could find.

Close up pictures found at:

Russian TV News, click on moviecam under photo:

Australian new gadgets page.

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