Like most of my generation, I grew up watching Looney Toons every Saturday morning. One of my favorite bits involved the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote's disastrous attempts to capture him. Whether rockets, bombs or painted tunnels, Coyote's efforts always failed him.
At Arizona State University's iProjects program, student Jason Kerestes and a ream of researchers just might have the edge Coyote needs to finally catch the Road Runner: a working jetpack.
In collaboration with Thomas Sugar of ASU's Human Machine Integration Lab and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Kerestes runs 4 Minute Mile (4MM). The goal is simple: help a soldier wearing 90+ lbs. of gear get in and out of perilous situations as fast and as safely as possible. How? Equip that soldier with a jetpack, giving him or her the ability to run a 4-minute mile.
Running a mile that fast (or faster) is difficult enough, but with 90 lbs. of gear on? Watch the video below to find out how Kerestes and his team accomplished it.