21 Feb Boots With 3D Insoles To Help Astronauts Walk
As new innovations are being applied 3D printed shoes, we are seeing more variety in the types of shoes being made. Imagine that in the future we could even be seeing astronauts wearing 3D printed footwear. Walking on the moon looked like an amazing experience, but the suits they wore had them tripping all over the place. The suits are actually risky and could be worse for anymore who wanted to explore mars, where there is stronger gravity. We would not want them to fall onto something dangerous. Alison Gibson, an MIT graduate researcher, wants to try and help fix that problem.
At the moment NASA is not doing manned moon missions, so astronauts are wearing boots that are made more for floating around the outside of the International Space Station. The relatively bendy mood boots just do not cut it anymore. Even spacesuit helmets take away from astronauts’ peripheral vision to a small amount. Pressurized boots do not help them feel for obstacles either. But how do we help design a system that lets astronauts keep their heads up? With Alison’s boot design, each one will have two vibrating motors to buzz your big toe as your approach your obstacle. As the boot gets closer and closer, the vibrations start to ramp up the boot. To make things even more impressive, the boots are not only maneuverable; but they have 3D printed bases as well, helping them weigh only a pound each.
People like Alison Gibson wants to stay with the 3D printed industry because they see the potential. Although they aren’t up to par with companies like Adidas, Nike, 3DShoes.com, Feetz, and New Balance; each person will bring an important contribution. Gibson tested the prototypes and noticed significantly less heads-down time as well as people falling down less. They may only be prototypes, but NASA wants new suits for mars, and it’s possible we could see this technology incorporated into them. They don’t expect to put humans even in orbit around Mars until the 2030s, so Alison has plenty of time to perfect her work.
Original Article: https://www.wired.com/2017/02/boots-keep-astronauts-tripping-feet/