Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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7½ League Boots

Going the extra mile (and a half)
  [vote for,

Each boot has a powerful low-geared electric motor embedded sideways into the insole. Joining the instep PTO's is a (removable) crank-shaped pipe _|¯

Set to 60-70 RPM, the 7œ League Boots will steadily propel the operator along at a walking pace, each boot alternating to trace a semicircular path through the air to its next step.

Walking faster than the boots' stride recharges the batteries.

FlyingToaster, Oct 20 2015


       I have long considered a story really getting into the nitty gritty of 7 league boots. The issue of obstacles would be a real one. But if you slipped into another dimension so as to avoid them, what else might be there, and how well could you perceive it moving at 25 miles / second?   

       Also one would need to triangulate carefully to reach any destination with precision, taking 2 trips.
bungston, Oct 20 2015

       I'm guessing originally the phrase meant a pair, comfortable enough to walk in for 7 hours - a full half day's travel between meals and rest. Eventually some clown said "well... if they're really '7 league boots' ..." and wrote a story.
FlyingToaster, Oct 20 2015

       When you take a stride, don't your feet simultaneously touch the ground at either end? Otherwise it would be more like a leap.
pocmloc, Oct 20 2015

       Laying the mantle of SF over the fairy-tale, one would imagine that the boots loosen the interparticulate bonds of the wearer, while imposing their own attraction to keep the particles from simply wandering away during transit.   

       The '7 leagues' moniker is the distance an average-sized person can be stretched and compacted, safely (plus a bit of marketing exaggeration).   

       Operation is based on (native) stride length; a logarithmic scale that allows for short strides as well.   

       The most obvious restriction is that there has to be a bit of line-of-sight clearing at start and endpoints. You couldn't walk through a wall that's right in front of you, though if it were a short distance away you could pass through it, feeling a bit of a shiver.   

       Power requirements' calculation would be based on body mass, distance, height differential. However, most of the energy goes towards keeping Brownian motion at bay. With that in mind, considerable energy savings can be realized by keeping 2nd and 3rd dimensional stretching to the minimum required for the stride. (ie: walking over a mountain requires a vertical component to avoid passing through miles of solid, dense rock and maybe getting stuck)   

       Getting around the old "well why don't they just sink into the earth?" paradigm, the stretching isn't uniform: since the bits that are moving (natively) slowest are the least stretched, the hindmost boot will remain solid during the start of the stride, and the foremost boot during the latter portion.   

       If you've read this annotation and are confused, it has nothing to do with the post.
FlyingToaster, Oct 20 2015

       These could result in a hop-stomp repeating motion if the user does not anticipate the torque correctly.
tatterdemalion, Oct 20 2015

       ^ It's not too difficult, normally, to walk a straight line, so I doubt there'd be too many hops after a bit of practice. Getting the swing of it (literally) would be important.   

       I don't think it would work at all on uneven ground, but it's meant for walking paths and sidewalks.   

       [pocmloc] if you mean the post then yes, a stride has both feet on the ground at some point. The post has a pair of boots connected by a crank-shaped pipe with motors in both boots. The effect would be like riding a unicycle... without the wheel, just the pedals and crank.
FlyingToaster, Oct 20 2015

       The stride would be continuous half-circles, which would get terribly annoying after while to the diodes down my left side.
RayfordSteele, Oct 21 2015


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