Robot aims to motivate runners

Could a new flying drone help you run faster, or is it more like having Big Brother out with you on a run?

Could a new flying drone help you run faster, or is it more like having Big Brother out with you on a run?

A new robotic hovercraft called the Joggobot is designed to fly near you when you’re running and motivate you to run faster.

According to an article on the PopSci website, the bot is a modified drone programmed to follow an orange and blue running t-shirt. Cameras on the bot are programmed to watch the pattern on the shirt and it will hover about three-and-a-half feet off the ground. If it loses sight of you, it lands automatically.

Eberhard Gräther and Floyd Mueller of the Exertion Games Lab at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia built the software. According to their website, they created the Joggobot “to ask the question how (and if) robots should support us when exercising.

“As such, Joggobot helps us to understand about the interactions between a person and a robot. Our Joggobot is able to track the position of the jogger via a built-in camera and tag detection software. This software turns the previously human-controlled quadcopter into an autonomous flying robot that reacts to the jogger’s actions,” says the website.

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Watch video of the Joggobot in action below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4x4d8IX_0kI&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]