This week, we’re writing about ways that you can become a better runner, from tricks to keep your mind from wandering, and foods to fuel your body. But for a lot of folks who run, there’s nothing more motivational than a buddy. Unfortunately, running buddies have historically been humans, which makes the unreliable and subject to human problems, like catching a cold or being in a crappy mood. So here’s a question: would you ever run with a robotic running buddy?
Australian researchers are working on a digital version of the fallible friend, which they’re calling Joggobot. Basically a running drone that flies alongside you as you hit the trail, Joggobot is pretty much the future, realized. Here’s how Mobile Magazine describes it:
The concept comes by way of Exertion Games Lab at RMIT University in Melbourne. What they’ve done is taken the standard Parrot AR.Drone quadracopter and loaded it with some specialized software. By doing so, the drone will lock in on the user (you) and follow you around as you go for your run around the neighborhood. It’s also designed to help you maintain a certain pace, so if you start to lag behind, it’ll fly on ahead and “motivate” you to keep up. Because you wouldn’t want to lose your $300+ toy.
Basically, it’s like if Rosie from the Jetsons and your FitBit got married and had a helicopter of a baby. Which is pretty cool–for a lot of us, a novel digital toy is good for at least two weeks of additional motivation, plus the thing could help you keep pace and basically get better at running efficiently and consistently.
But, of course, there are some hang-ups. A 20-minute battery life seems hardly worth it for those who run even a 5k regularly, and for the Joggobot to “see” you, you have to wear a weird striped t-shirt. Plus, there are those who might be creeped out by the idea of a world where robots fly around our heads and tell us to run faster and be better. And what if you were running on the same trail as one and it flew into your face? Is there a point at which there would be too many robotic jogging drones and the technology would be less cool and more irritating?
Would you trade in your best running friend for a robotic running drone that flies alongside you as you jog? And, more importantly, do you think it would help you become a better runner? Let us know by taking this highly scientific poll.
Sorry! This poll is now closed.
Image: Joggobot via Epic News