Need a Running Partner? How ‘Bout a Robot
Exertion Games Lab
Step aside, Optimus Prime. Take a seat, WALL-E. There’s a new member of the robot family in town, and its name is Joggobot.
Joggobot, a modified version of a small, smartphone-controlled quad-rotor helicopter, is effectively a flying robot running buddy. Joggobot works by tracking an orange and blue pattern on a special running t-shirt—when it senses the pattern with its on-board camera, it flies to a height of three and a half feet and moves accordingly.
Joggobot can be programmed to fly at a certain speed or certain distance ahead of the runner, or it can hover alongside. So is Joggobot a pacesetter? A tireless replacement for your dog? Not even Joggobot’s creators really know.
“We use Joggobot to ask the question how (and if) robots should support us when exercising,” Joggobot’s website says.
And the question that we'd like to ask: What happens when you’re waiting curbside to cross the street, with Joggobot hovering a few feet ahead, and a Mack truck speeds by?
But despite the fact that Joggobot can’t shoot lasers, approach C-3PO-like levels of companionship, or withstand the force of an 18-wheeler (at least for now), it’s definitely a cool concept. No word yet, though, on whether going for your morning run with a flying robot is totally awesome or weirdly antisocial.