Prepare to leave your car in the garage, your bicycle out back and embrace a totally new form of transport. RocketSkates are a form of electric motorised skates that you strap onto your feet and let the batteries do all the work. Unlike heelies or rollerblades, there’s little effort involved as the skates are powered by a lithium-ion battery pack, and include two hub motors that are controlled by an on-board microprocessor.
The skates are able to communicate with each other so they always keep to the same speed as the other skate, and mimic the others actions. There is also an app for the RocketSkates that connects to your smart phone in which you can then monitor the performance of your skates. The app will also allow you to track the battery life, show you the state of your skates, hook you up to games and provide access to other RocketSkaters.
The skates are easy to operate, when you want the motorised hubs to take the strain and do all the work, you simply tip your feet back, allowing the rubber wheels to make contact with the ground and away you go. When you need to walk or stop however, you simply tip forward again and step ahead on the balls of your feet.
The RocketSkates have a maximum speed of 12 mph (19 km/h), but this is dependant on the model of skate, for instance, the $249 R6 has a top speed of 6 miles (9.7 km), the $499 R8 will run at 8 miles (12.9 km)/70 minutes, whilst the $599 R10 will speed along at 10 miles (16 km). With all model types, the battery life on a full charge is around one and a half hours.
The RocketSkates are the brainchild of Los Angeles entrepreneur Peter Treadway and company Acton Global, who, together, have launched the skates on crowd funding site Kickstarter to enable the product to be manufactured. The Kickstarter launch has been massively successful, with the early bird offers of a pair of RocketSkates for $199 sold out within 10 minutes; the next price stages of $299 and $399 offers also selling out. Impressively, in 24 hours their Kickstarter goal of $50,000 had been reached, and a day later they had reached their stretch goal of $100,000.
The company are now in a position where they can start the first of their early bird orders and begin supplying customers who got in with fast pledges.
So why have these motorised skates proved to be such a hit with the general public? It could be due to the environmentally friendly nature of the skates, as they are battery powered, and as such, do not have much of an impact on your green footprint. The RocketSkates are also very likely to be a hit with people who want to be healthy but perhaps would like a little help, and do not feel up to roller blading or cycling to work.
If you are interested in joining the Kickstarter campaign, there are still some pledges available, check out their Kickstarter page.