In what is almost certainly some sort of advertising gag leading up to this weekend’s Tokyo Marathon, Japanese ketchup company Kagome unveiled their newest product at the marathon’s race expo Thursday: a small humanoid robot which rides on your shoulders and feeds you tomatoes while you run. Still, the product does seem to fill the niche market of those wishing there was some sort of hands-free device to feed them fruit while they exercise.
The tomato-bot has been aptly named Tomatan.
Tomatan sports mechanical arms which pick up tomatoes from the backpack-roboto’s own smaller backpack hopper full of tomatoes. It also has a seemingly useless, yet cute, tomato head. Pulling a small level on the front (feet) of the robot releases a tomato from the hopper which is picked up and transported to your mouth for easy eating.
Kagome first announced their plans to build a wearable tomato device earlier this year in a humorous, eerily sexual, video of engineers and designers performing odd, tomato-based experiments while presumably trying to nail down schematics for the ultimate fruit-feeding, wearable machine.
Two Kagome employees will wear different sized versions of the device in the 5K and marathon races this weekend. The full-sized feeding frenzy weighs a hefty 8 kg.