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Tue, 18.03.2003
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pte20030318040 Health/Medicine, Science/Technology
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Hightech boots for quick walking
70 per cent less body energy used
dpa
dpa

Berlin (pte040/18.03.2003/16:06) - Boots fitted with tiny combustion engines are set to give roller-boot and in-line skate manufacturers a run for their money when they hit the production lines later this week, as reported by BZ online http://bz.berlin1.de .

Russian engineer Viktor Gordejev from Ufa in the Ural Mountains, who designed the motorised boots, said he first came up with the idea 30 years ago when he was in the Soviet army and was forced to march for miles along hard roads.

Gordejev said: "I always wished my boots had engines as in the army we had to walk miles every day. That's how I came up with the idea."

Present day troops may not have to wait so long before similar wishes come true as the boots are set to hit the production lines of the EkoMotor firm in Ufa in a matter of days.

Boris Rudoi, head of the Space Travel Institute in Ufa which helped Gordejev realise his dream, said thousands of pairs of boots had already been pre-ordered.

At a cost of around 600 pounds a pair the boots are designed to increase the speed of walking and decrease the amount of body energy used by around 70 per cent. As soon as the wearer steps forward the engines are triggered and propel the user forward.

Fashion conscious citizens may want to wait until the boots have been refined before buying a pair though. The boots look like a cross between leg-support braces and futuristic space boots and weigh almost five pounds each.

Ten thousand pairs of the Sapogi Skorochody (Quick-Walking Boots) are due to hit Russian and international shelves this year. Rudoi said he was working together with a small British firm, whose name he withheld, to market the boots outside Russia.

He added the boots had to be closely guarded from industrial spies from Japan and the USA during construction.

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