PHOENIX - Hiking with a full backpack can be physically demanding, especially uphill.
Tom Sugar, a mechanical engineering professor at Arizona State University, designed an oscillating backpack -- it moves with your body.
“You can imagine sometimes when you're walking or running and the backpack slams down on your shoulders and it doesn't feel good," Sugar said. "This one oscillates the backpack in rhythm with you."
When you step up, it goes up with you, putting less pressure on the hips and legs. Sugar calls it the Pogo Pack.
The Pogo Pack was originally designed for the U.S. Army to help lessen fatigue on soldiers.
It is still in the prototype stage. In the video provided by ASU, the mechanism in the pack make plenty of noise and you can see as the hiker moves, the mechanism moves up and down.
“Think about those sensors that are in your cellphones," Sugar said. "You have an accelerometer at your waist and it watches you and your body moving up and down.Then the robot moves up and down with you."
The next step could be the commercial market and a trail near you.
As for his next moves, Sugar said he'll "try to make it lighter, smaller and more cost-effective."
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