The importance of a soldier's foot speed has been known since well before Pheidippides made his famous run during the Battle of Marathon. And while humans on the whole are faster than their ancestors, thanks to more advanced technology and training methods, there are still biomechanical speed limits that mean our men and women in the armed forces will never be as quick as they (or their commanding officers) would like.

Enter this Wile E. Coyote-like contraption (or Titanfall, for our younger readers) from a team at Arizona State University. The team, led by student Jason Kerestes and Prof. Thomas Sugar of the university's Human Machine Integration Lab started working on robotics to benefit the disabled, before DARPA got involved and asked them to go to work on robotic aids for foot soldiers. Their goal is to design a back-mounted jetpack that would help propel the average soldier to a four-minute mile.

They've already trimmed about 20 seconds off their test runner's one-mile time, so there could be some merit to their work. Check out their jetpack system in the video.

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