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jumping stilts

"jump off somewhere high and live"
  (+10, -1)(+10, -1)
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First off, I'm not talking about those little springs attached to peoples feet you see in cartoons, or "velocity stilts" or moon shoes. Iv'e had moon shoes, and they do not cushion your fall. In fact, they really hurt my ankles.

Anyway, heres how it works: you are standing on a pair of stilts, which rest inside of larger stilts. The smaller stilts are suspended inside the larger ones by an industrial sized rubber band. The larger stilts are also air tight, save for a very thin cut running down each side. These slits can be partially widened or covered up by a sliding piece of metal to increase or decrease the rate air can escape. (covered up or closed for low heights, widened or opened further for high) Both stilts are strapped to your knees and ankles. Upon leaving the ground, the larger stilts are pushed by the industrial sized band away from the smaller stilts, but cannot simply shoot out. Before impact the stilts should extend to about twice the length of the users legs. Upon impact, your fall is cushioned in four ways.

1. As the smaller stilts and your legs fall into the large ones, the rubber band is stretched.

2. The as the solid platform within the smaller stilt is pushed into the larger one, the air is compressed, but allowed to escape through the aforementioned slits in the larger stilt.

3. When the small stilt pushes all the way through to the ground, it lands on a soft material (NASA style temper- pedic pillow fluff?) which is wedged in the very bottom of the larger stilt.

4. The smaller stilt hits the ground, and you slow the rest of your momentum with a roll (if necessary)

Using these, you should be able to jump off of really high stuff, but there are a few dangers to using them.

If you land with the end of the stilts too far apart, (which is likely if they are too long) then you will be split in half.

If there is no way to lock the smaller stilts in place lower within the larger ones, it would be very hard to keep you balance. Such a lock could operate like a gigantic ball point pen, collapsing the stilts permanently upon impact, so as not to cause unwanted bounce when walking

You might look funny, but maybe not if you wear really long pants. (see "pygmy boots")

ultra-toaster 3000, Oct 12 2009

youtube search for "JUMPING STILTS" http://www.youtube....s&search_type=&aq=f
Looks like fun . [knowtion, Oct 15 2009, last modified Oct 16 2009]


egbert, Oct 12 2009

       Nice changes. (+)   

       If you tether them you can lose the whole split in half problem.   

       I just don't see seeing that screenname over and over again. Prove me wrong?   

       Welcome to the bakery! ok, now I'll read it. Yep, split in half problem is solved. Why not use them to jump really high? The mechanism is somewhat like a pogo-stick..
daseva, Oct 12 2009

       True, they are pogo stick-ish. However, pogo sticks cause you to bounce, where as if you are falling from a high height, then that is the last thing you want. (impulse equation) The industrial sized rubber band is mostly for extending the stilts.
ultra-toaster 3000, Oct 12 2009

       If you added a third stilt it would be a more stable structure.
bungston, Oct 12 2009

       You could combine them with minature parachutes for ultra-high-speed skydiving.
wagster, Oct 12 2009

       //You could combine them with minature parachutes for ultra-high-speed skydiving.//   

       No you couldn't , (+)   

skinflaps, Oct 12 2009

       sp: Minotaur
wagster, Oct 12 2009

       I have actually put a lot of thought on this subject due to an old book which referenced "spring heeled jack", a murderer who lived around the time of jack the ripper and of course my personal desire to be a super hero and to conquer my fear of heights.   

       So let me stress that for a system to work for any real heights, you need to extend the system from toes to head or at the very least from heels to waist or your knees will HATE you and you may perform the ultimate split. All joints need to be set to guide the body towards a fetal position. This is to avoid the situation where you land and your head hits the ground behind your feet and it also allows you to roll to expend excess energy. Though for that you need sticky "feet" at the ends, so the feet don't slide out.   

       Also some minimal parachute system that will guide your feet to land first is probably also a good idea.
MisterQED, Oct 12 2009

       Those parcoer (sp?) guys could use something like this.
bungston, Oct 12 2009

       //You might look funny, but maybe not if you wear really long pants// I'm a bit like that anyway...
wagster, Oct 13 2009

       What if one stilt fails to deploy ?   

8th of 7, Oct 13 2009

       Bun for the image of skydivers in tutus.
RayfordSteele, Oct 13 2009

       I love parkour.   

       Also, the first result I got for "heel springs" led me right to spring heeled jack. Has anyone here read "skulduggery pleasant"? I was thinking about extending the system to around the shoulders, so that you hold the small stilts by hand, giving you more control, but that increases the weight, and gives your legs less control as they now have to drag along the extra long small stilts that reach to your hands. I agree with the idea that you need to end in the fetal position, (more parkour) but my original idea was that these things actually dont stop your fall. Ideally, you touch the ground through the stilts with enough momentum to do a roll. (another reason why extending the system further might get in the way.) As for a three stilt structure, I considered that, but it denies you mobility after jumping, and certainly a roll.   

       However, iv'e discovered another problem... The rate at which air can escape from the stilts must be controlled. Higher heights means less resistance. So... (edits)
ultra-toaster 3000, Oct 13 2009

       //The rate at which air can escape from the stilts must be controlled. Higher heights means less resistance.// Yes, I was going to go into that in the first post. The rubber band thing is inconvenient, as it will continually attempt to deploy every time you lift your foot. What you need is a spring that will keep the system compressed and then either compressed gas(N2), explosive gas(empty handgun cartridges) or my favorite choice for repeated use medium concentration <62% hydrogen peroxide and a catalyst pack to spray thru. The peroxide will fill the cylinders with high pressure steam. The cylinders are vented either thru a blow off valve or a computer controlled release valve to a vent by the soles of your shoes. (so you land in a cool cloud)   

       If you jump from a high height the system will only use the blow off valve as the system will resist to the maximum level your legs can handle set by the blow off valve till you land. If you jump from a low height the computer will sense the excessive resistance and bleed off excess pressure so that you land softly.   

       The extra joints would also be activated by the pressurization of the cylinders and would apply gas pressure to springs that would guide your body into correct alignment.   

       As you can see the peroxide also allows you to reverse the process and jump to high heights in a repeatable fashion.
MisterQED, Oct 13 2009

       I strongly feel that any of the potential systems should involve telescoping, collapsible cylinders (think tent poles) with sensors and computers and shit. It should look like a person landed from an unseen height riding on the decent of a giant knuckled carbon fiber gorilla's hand.
daseva, Oct 13 2009

       Why do you need sensors again?   

       The rubber band doesn't deploy because of the lock.
ultra-toaster 3000, Oct 14 2009

       //Why do you need sensors again?// Let's say that rigged up, I am a 100kg man. I have strong legs which can lift 300kg. I jump from a high height and deploy the stilts to soften my landing. The system should resist compression with a force of 300kg as this will give me the maximum deceleration my legs can handle. The sensors are necessary get me to actually land if the height was not sufficient to require full deceleration for the whole length.
MisterQED, Oct 14 2009

       Ok then, add sensors. However, you wouldn't want the sensors to adjust to the maximum resistance your legs can handle, as that might cause your upper body to hit the ground before you finish sinking through the stilts. Therefore, you have to balance the resistance with a persons ability not only to bench press, but to stay upright.
ultra-toaster 3000, Oct 15 2009

       The stilts would be rather impressive - 70m/s terminal velocity would have to be brought to a stand-still. With 1g, that's 7 seconds (which is how long it takes to reach terminal velocity, disregarding air resistance). Even if you could stand up to 15g (15x your weight resting on your knees, in my case far over a ton...), the deceleration would take ~ 0.5 seconds, and the stilts would have to be ~12 meters long...
loonquawl, Oct 15 2009

       //reach terminal velocity, disregarding air resistance// ... oxymoron?
afinehowdoyoudo, Oct 16 2009

       You could arrange to skydive in a vacuum chamber, with radar sensors connected to massive air valves to repressurise the chamber as you hit 70 m/s. That way you would get full 1G acceleration right up to your terminal velocity.
pocmloc, Oct 16 2009


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