UKC

/ Hoverglide backpack

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Jonny on 05 Sep 2018

I thought this was a grotesque joke when I first saw it, but it isn't: https://www.hot-newtech.com/hoverglide/

It essentially uses a set of elasticated pulleys to reduce peak forces, which it turns out are the real problem when it comes to heavy packs. Before you ask, the 5 kg of subjective weight savings on a 27 kg load includes the weight of the apparatus itself.

The original published paper is here https://www.nature.com/articles/4441023a

So if it is actually a net weight-saver (at least when the load is large enough), remaining downsides might include increased possibility of failure and the disadvantages of moving the load further from your centre of gravity.

It's the kind of thing that induces instinctive repulsion, but it's only fair to consider these things on their merits!

What do you reckon?

d_b on 05 Sep 2018
In reply to Jonny:

Kickstarter.  I'm going to treat them as vapourware until they appear in the wild.

Luke90 on 05 Sep 2018
In reply to Jonny:

I saw videos of it on Facebook and assumed it was some kind of much more complex mechanism, perhaps even electronically controlled. Interesting that it's just elasticated. The video certainly did a good job of showing how it could reduce the perceived load but I wonder whether they had to carefully match people's gait with the tuning of the elastic to make it look smooth. I assume that it wouldn't work so well if your paces were at the wrong frequency or if you were slogging slowly uphill.

Pan Ron - on 05 Sep 2018
In reply to Jonny:

> remaining downsides might include

...becoming a laughing stock.

Unfortunate really as I'm willing to believe the concept is sound and admirable (if introducing a few too many moving parts in to an otherwise simple apparatus).

> What do you reckon?

Might well take off and obvious practical applications. But difficult to imagine many people climbing on board early on. My money is on another Betamax/minidisc.

Jonny on 05 Sep 2018
In reply to Luke90:

> I wonder whether they had to carefully match people's gait with the tuning of the elastic to make it look smooth.

That crossed my mind too. The elastic tension is adjustable, so that may be something they're doing. Perhaps not ideal in the mountains then, when you don't have a gait of constant frequency. I can imagine it making things (much!) worse if it starts oscillating out of phase.

 

In reply to Pan Ron:

Time will tell. There have been many technological revolutions in the climbing world, but most of them are founded in advances in materials or electronics. The GriGri and friends are probably the best mechanism-based examples I can think of, and they are still simpler than this.

Post edited at 18:11
pass and peak - on 13 Sep 2018
In reply to Jonny:

while I'm all for innovation, why would you want to go running with a 25kg pack? Unless your been chased by a grizzly, but then I think I'd rather save the 5kg and make sure I was quicker than my partner! 

krikoman - on 13 Sep 2018
In reply to Jonny:

Looks like it might work for running, I don't, so it's not for me.

 

Jonny on 15:41 Sun
In reply to pass and peak:

I'm sure most of us have, after a few nights sleeping out, legged it back down a mountain bathed in fuzzy-eyed euphoria. I think it'd be good for that.

 

 

 


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