BeatBot is “a programmable, self-driving, line-following robot” that is able to reach blazing speeds while also matching the record set by the world’s fastest runner Usain Bolt where he reached 27.7 miles per hour on 100-meters.
The robot was created to develop a sense of competition, as the creators of BeatBot argue that humans tend to excel on their abilities if they are set against other person or object that they must surpass. “We found a lot of anecdotal evidence that head to head competition raised performance levels, even a few studies that showed an uptick performance,” stated JWT New York executive creative director Florent Imbert.
Competition on a small vehicle
The idea behind BeatBot comes from the mechanical rabbit that runs along the track on dog races. One can set a specified distance and speed so BeatBot will proceed to execute the task by drafting a line through infrared sensors. The robot features LED lights, GoPro cameras and the ability of keeping up with the runner’s speed.
Although it may be a great addition to any athlete that needs to develop its running speed and efficiency, BeatBot will be available only to those sponsored by Puma. The development team stated that the cost of manufacturing BeatBot on a retail scale is too large and for now, there are no plans for releasing BeatBot for the general audiences. But it is known that Puma is working on model and design improvements to create an affordable version of BeatBot so that everyone who wishes to train its running through competition can do so with ease.
There are many fitness apps that are able to measure our performance while training, especially running, where Puma’s rival company Nike has their Nike Plus system of peripherals and software. But this is the first time an actual training companion has been developed specifically for running.
Although BeatBot will not have a retail version for at least a couple of months, we can easily expect more robots such as this, that will help us have some sort of presence among our training hours; perhaps a companion that will provide motivation and will play music on the last few reps while lifting weights. Reportedly, BeatBox looks like a shoe box with wheels, but the fact that it is able to keep up with the athlete’s running speed while also accelerating to Bolt-speed is an important statement of what’s to come in the near future.
Source: Tech Times