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anti-running backpack

A backpack which makes running difficult
  [vote for,

I was walking towards the office the other day, iPod in the inner pocket of my coat. As I was walking, I felt it dangling between the coat and my body, and I found myself thinking "this must be using some of the energy I'm using to walk".

I guess a device can be designed, using a series of levers, resorts, dampers and weights which absorbs a significant amount of energy when shaken. This could then be strapped to one's back to make running more difficult, while not hindering walking in any significant way. Various levels of energy-absorption could be set, by blocking or unblocking some of the levers, and by changing the ratio of some levers.

Some models could be designed to make running more difficult in order to be used for exercise. More radical settings could be used for movement restraint, e.g. by securing the device on the back of prisoners -- even if you could hypothetically train yourself to run extremely smoothly, you'd still need to change your direction of movement occasionally, which would be extremely difficult with this pumped-up version of the anti-running device.

gutza, Dec 01 2006

Gait physics http://ruina.tam.co...dRun/WhyWalkRun.pdf
[bungston, Dec 01 2006]


       I'm not sure that I'm quite understanding the idea here, but it seems to me that you wouldn't be making it harder to run, other than having that weight on your back. If that's the invention then I would suggest rocks.   

       I simply cannot see how having something strapped to you could make you run less efficiently, aside from the weight issue. As far as I can devise with non-calculated high school physics you'd just be using the potential energy stored in the system, and excess kinetic energy released into the system while you ran (caused by the motion of running, but created from the gravitational potential energy already within the device).   

       But I'm not sure, so I've not voted.
tastycat, Dec 01 2006

       Ok, here's a simple way to experiment. Take two bottles of water -- one small and one large. Fill the small one completely, and fill the large one so that its total weight is equal to the total weight of the small bottle. Shake one in each hand. Which one is harder to shake? The large one, because some of the energy is wasted by water splattering around in the bottle.
gutza, Dec 01 2006

       [gutza] - I have no doubt you are correct that such a thing could be done. Conservation of energy is important to walking - linked find a scholarly article analyzing human gaits. I seem to recall a backpack - mounted contraption that attempted the opposite of what you propose - it captured some of the kinetic energy lost as part of a normal gait, and then redelivered it shortly thereafter to help woth forward momentum. I could not find a link. I imagine such a device is similar in principle to the forceful arm swing some hikers use to help ascend steep inclines.
bungston, Dec 01 2006

       Alterantive use for this principle: One problem when exercising in the gym is being too fast. The tension of pushing or pulling some lever hurts, so you're trying to get out of it, using momentum instead of muscle tension.   

       Some remote variation of this idea could be used to build machines that are easiest to use correctly, and put up much more resistance when used too quickly.
jutta, Dec 01 2006

       /put up much more resistance when used too quickly./   

       Or it could be a biofeedback-type thing, which would be easier to engineer that something which puts up resistance. The machine would have a readout with green zone which indicates most efficient or optimal use, and a needle which would swing into the red when the machine was used with inefficient or suboptimal motion patterns. The exerciser would keep the needle in the green during exercise.
bungston, Dec 01 2006

       /by securing the device on the back of prisoners/   

       It could complement the chain between their ankles.
bungston, Dec 01 2006

       [phlish], mounting an umbrella is indeed a Chaplin-esque addition in the spirit of the halfbakery that I haven't thought of; however, I don't think it would really hinder much a Mike Tyson-like prisoner on the run.   

       [bungston] /It could complement the chain between their ankles./   

       Actually, I hope a good enough design of the anti-running device would be enough to *replace* the chain -- a backpack would look and feel a lot less humiliating than a chain, in my opinion. Of course, given that I don't have a real design, I can't assume it would be enough -- but one can hope.
gutza, Dec 01 2006


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