Back in 2022, a pair of motorized shoes dubbed Moonwalker burst into the scene, promising to be the fastest pair on the planet. Developed by Shift Robotics, they hook onto your regular shoes and give you superhuman abilities to glide, as if you’re you are moonwalking.
The Austin-based maker has again touched base at CES 2024 with an improved version called Moonwalker X, and we got hands-on time with these AI-powered shoes at the event. According to founder and CEO Xunjie Zhang, “In developing X, our focus was clear: enhancing productivity without compromising safety.” We second this vision as the product is proud recipient of the “Best of CES 2024” award.
Designer: Shift Robotics
The intended use for these robotic shoes is for commercial and business applications where speed and productivity is the key. For example, in a warehouse or manufacturing facility where human movement needs to be optimized while saving effort for efficiency. That said, the Moonwalker X’s can be put to good use in daily life too – for instance – hurrying to your office in the morning time or commuting in the crowded city streets. There have been other iterations of such rollerblades on steroids like the Segway – Ninebot Drift W1 and Hoverwheel, but they’ve not smashed the popularity button as expected.
In our experience with the robotic shoes at the event in Las Vegas, they do feel lighter being 3.2 pounds each – almost a pound lighter than the original version. Compared to the previous iteration they are slightly smaller and as an added perk are highly modular too for repairability. The AI control system has been re-engineered for better control in tight spaces and the shock absorption capabilities have also been honed. If you’ve keenly followed the progress of the Moonwalker, you’ll notice the number of wheels on each shoe has now been reduced to six from the 10 wheels on the original version.
Shift Robotics has not yet revealed anything about the pricing and says that it’ll be announced in the first half of 2024 when they’ll be ready to ship.