Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Floating Backpack

PostedNovember 11, 2007

Download File (mp3)

Randy Atkins:  You lift and then ease a backpack back down with every step.  Backbreaking work, says Larry Rome, a University of Pennsylvania biologist.  Especially if people are in a hurry, they…

Larry Rome:  …cannot run in the normal way, and they sort of go into Groucho running where they have their knees bent the whole time to reduce the up and down movements.

Randy Atkins:  It not only looks silly but can cause serious injury.  So Rome has engineered a frame that suspends a backpack and maintains it at a constant distance from the ground.

Larry Rome:  You reduce the up and down movements by stretching a bungee cord, and it becomes quite comfortable to run.

Randy Atkins:  With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP Radio.

The backpack should be available in 2009.