Rollkers

Rollkers is a French company that wants to revolutionize how we get from place to place. Their device looks like a pair of high-tech roller skates, but it’s really a lot more than that. Essentially, they are a power-assist for your walking. You strap them on over your shoes, and they can speed you along your way at up to 7 mph.

So how are these different from a pair of powered skates (such as the Rocketskates that were also on display at CES 2015)? The Rollkers only work when you’re walking; take a step and the powerful electric motor will boost your speed. Stop walking, and the power stops. The heel cup is hinged so you can have a normal walking motion, and you can even walk up stairs without taking them off.

The system also uses regenerative braking and extracts power from your steps. According to a company representative, this energy harvesting is so efficient that the Rollkers should be able to run indefinitely. I can see how these might provide improved mobility for those with chronic conditions that might limit their ability to walk more than a short distance at a time. The company hopes to have the skates in production and on sale by 2016. Soon you will be able¬†tool around town at two or three times the normal speed without breaking a sweat. I’m not sure you’d want to wear your Manolo’s with the 4-inch stilleto heels, at least not on the first run.