Researchers at Arizona State University were asked by the Pentagonâ€™s research arm if they could come up with robotic devices to give individuals superhuman abilities. It was at that point that the â€œ4 Minute Mileâ€ Project (4MM) was born.
Former ASU student and mechanical engineer Jason Kerestes teamed up with Dr. Thomas Sugar from ASUâ€™s Human Machine Integration Laboratory, and it wasnâ€™t long before their teamâ€™s project produced an experimental jetpack for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
â€œIf you think of a Navy SEAL or an Army soldier that has to get in somewhere quick and do whatever theyâ€™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,â€ 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.
â€œIn a warfare type arena, this could potentially be the difference between life and death,â€ saidMr. Kerestes.
The two men believe that achieving a four minute mile with the device can happen and are continuing to perfect the machineâ€™s overall design.