The SpringWalker™ prototype could be greatly enhanced by the addition of servomotors to increase the motion generated by the user's foot extention. With a leverage ratio of approximately 2:1, the prototype's leg presently extends about half as much as that of the user. By incorporating an appropriate servo-assist system, the leg's extention could be greatly increased: For example, its extention could be twice that of the user's own leg (instead of half), and so could reduce the user's workload by a factor of 4!
Even more importantly, the athletic capability of the user and SpringWalker™ together would dramatically increase; with twice the force (due to leverage) together with twice the extention (due to servo-assist) as that of the user's own legs.
With a Li-Ion battery pack, the Servo-powered SpringWalker™ could lope up a mountain slope like an ATV for more than half an hour without recharging!
What's the cost? If you have to ask… Building a servo-powered version would require significant development work. On the plus side, advances in technology in the years since the prototype was developed now allow not only dramatically improved performance, but also significant simplification compared to the SpringWalker™ prototype exoskeleton. If you're interested please contact me by regular mail at:
John Dick, President
Applied Motion, Inc.
730 Windham Dr.
Claremont, CA 91711