Moonwalkers Selected by TIME as 1 of the 200 Best Inventions of 2023

Moonwalkers Selected by TIME as 1 of the 200 Best Inventions of 2023

AUSTIN, Texas — October 25, 2023 — Shift Robotics today announced that its Moonwalkers(TM) brand “Robotic Shoes” have been selected by TIME as one of the 200 Best Inventions of 2023.

Moonwalkers are known as “the world’s fastest shoes” because they allow users to walk up to three-times faster than normal. Users simply strap both AI-informed Moonwalkers onto their closed-toe shoes, push the power button on the back of each Moonwalker, and then “shift on” the Moonwalkers with a simple rotation of the right foot to start walking faster than they ever have before.

Moonwalkers first hit public consciousness when the company announced a Kickstarter campaign in October 2022, a campaign that met its funding goal in under 48 hours and raised almost $330,000 in total from over 550 backers.

Launched seven months later in May of this year, Moonwalkers are electricity-powered, robotic shoes that enable users to walk up to 3X faster than normal, and according to the company CEO and Founder, the response from consumers, journalists, and influencers has been stunning.

“We knew we were onto something when we unveiled our Kickstarter campaign last fall and saw the great response we got from prospective owners, the media, and influencers,” said Xunjie Zhang, CEO and founder of Shift Robotics, and lead inventor of the Moonwalkers. “But never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine that someday I would invent a product that would be named by TIME as one of the best inventions of the year.

“So after five years of extensive work and numerous iterations of this world-changing platform, we at Shift Robotics extend our thanks to the selection committee at TIME for honoring Moonwalkers as one of the best products of the year. Additionally, we also pledge to our fans, customers, and community members that we will continue to push the envelope even further as we work on developing better solutions for robotic shoes and the nano-mobility marketplace.”

According to Dave Mawhinney — Shift Robotics Board Member, successful serial entrepreneur, and Founding Executive Director of the Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship at Carnegie Mellon University — he’s come to expect great things from Shift’s Xunjie Zhang.

“Xunjie came to Carnegie Mellon to earn a master’s degree in Robotics after spending nearly four years at Rolls Royce working on engine control systems for both the Airbus A350 and Boeing Dreamliner,” Mawhinney said. “Now that I’ve worked closely with him for over five years, it’s clear that he’s a robotics rockstar. That’s why I’ve come to expect great things from Xunjie and his team at Shift Robotics, including receiving this great honor from TIME.”

 About Moonwalkers

The world’s first “Robotic Shoes” — Moonwalkers — have also become known as “the world’s fastest shoes” because they allow users to walk up to three-times faster than normal.

Moonwalkers are quick-and-easy to learn, fit over virtually any closed-toe shoe, and they work equally well in urban, industrial, and commercial settings,” Zhang said. “Once you turn-on your Moonwalkers and enter ‘Shift Mode, you just start walking — heel-toe, heel-toe — but you choose your own pace. So if you decide to walk in a more leisurely fashion, no problem.

“However, if you need to quickly get from one end of a factory floor to the other, then you just go for it. Either way, it’s your choice. And when you need to stop, you just stop walking and your Moonwalkers will slow to a stop in just a few feet. Additionally, if you need to walk up or down stairs (or engage in some other non-robotic-assisted activity), you simply lift your right heel and you temporarily ‘shift’ your Moonwalkers into ‘Lock Mode.’ And when going down hills, Moonwalkers implement their regenerative braking systems which control descent speeds and provide additional power to the built-in batteries.”

With their regenerative braking systems, quick come-to-a-stop process, and easy on-off settings, Moonwalkers are designed to be safe to use. Additionally, because they automatically reduce the number of steps wearers have to take to get from Point A to Point B (and beyond), Moonwalkers also provide a simple-to-understand ergonomic benefit for users.

 Designed for both consumer and professional settings, Moonwalkers have

  • A top speed of 7mph (miles per hour),
  • A range of 5—7 miles per charge, are
  • Rechargeable in 1.5 hours (90 minutes), and are
  • Available for both
  1. § Men (U.S. sizes: 8—12; U.K. sizes: 7—11; or European sizes: 42—46), and
  2. § Women (U.S. sizes: 10—13; U.K. sizes: 8—11; or European sizes: 41—45).

For a quick sense of what Moonwalkers are and how they operate, we invite readers to check out this introductory Moonwalkers video

For additional specifications for Moonwalkers, please visit this page.

Moonwalkers version 1.0 are available for purchase today directly from the company for $1,399.00 per pair.

Additionally, organizations interested in exploring ways Moonwalkers can benefit their employees, improve productivity, and lower costs should contact the company here.

 About TIME’s List of its “Best Inventions of 2023”

TIME’s annual list of the Best Inventions features 200 extraordinary innovations changing our lives.

To compile the list, TIME solicited nominations through an online application process and from its editors and correspondents around the world, while paying special attention to such growing fields as AI, green energy, and sustainability. Each contender was then evaluated on a number of key factors, including originality, efficacy, ambition, and impact.

Of the new list, TIME’s editors wrote: “The result is a list of 200 groundbreaking inventions (and 50 special mention inventions) — including the world's most powerful supercomputer, a game-changing entertainment venue, and a new shape — each of which are changing how we live, work, play, and think about what’s possible.”

 About Shift Robotics

Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Shift Robotics is the creator of the “Robotic Shoes” industry, with its first product — Moonwalkers — nano-mobility devices that allow users to walk up to three times faster than they normally can. Shift Robotics: We make the world a more walkable place by bringing everything within walking distance. For more information, please visit the company website at

Shift Robotics and Moonwalkers are trademarks of Shift Robotics, as are the various Shift Robotics and Moonwalkers logos. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

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