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Carnegie Mellon start-up develops AI-powered roller skates for faster walking

A start-up from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) aims to commercialize high-tech footwear that enables people to walk faster with less effort.

Shift Robotics has developed a product that looks like a roller skate and uses AI to instantly coordinate the user’s gait with the rolling resistance of the wheels for quicker movement with little to no strain involved. Known as Think Roller Blades, the technology is also designed to navigate puddles, sidewalk cracks and pavement divots with ease.

“You feel like you’re on a moving sidewalk,” says Abe Pleta, a CMU alum and one of six full-time employees at Shift Robotics.

As the start-up’s lead software engineer Joseph Yang explains, “If one of the shoes thinks you’re going too fast, it communicates with the other and tells it to slow down. The software is embedded, so everyone gets an individualized experience.”

Shift Robotics has raised over $1 million so far and is planning to launch a Series A funding round this year. Delivery of the first batch of Think Roller Blades to consumers is expected in March.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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