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.