The Puma BeatBot will blow runners away -- literally.
A new robot has been unveiled by Puma that could allow anyone to race against Usain Bolt and the other fastest runners in the world.
The Puma BeatBot is a new running partner that could be running alongside professional athletes, allowing them to beat personal records or try to match the records of previous champions, according to a Christian Science Monitor report.
That means a person who has the robot could basically challenge anyone in the world they wanted, even superstar track athlete Usain Bolt. The bot looks more like a Puma shoebox on wheels rather than an actual human racer, but it provides a sort of mini-pace car that can match the records of previous champions.
The BeatBot was designed with advertising agency J. Walter Thompson New York, as well as robotic experts.
“We found a lot of anecdotal evidence that head to head competition raised performance levels, even a few studies that showed an uptick performance,” JWT New York executive creative director Florent Imbert said in an interview with Fast Company. “But, to us, it felt like a human truth. Running against an invisible clock will never be as motivating as running against someone—or something.”
BeatBot would work through an app, which would allow the runner to enter the distance as well as the speed they want to beat. The BeatBot can be placed on a track line, and will count down to the start of the race.
Puma is calling the robot “programmable, self-driving, line-following.” It uses sensors to stay on the track line, and determines how far and how fast it is traveling via the rotation of its wheels. It also can have LED lights and GoPro cameras.
“Welcome to the future of faster. Introducing The PUMA BeatBot – a programmable, self-driving, line-following robot that inspires PUMA’s runners of all levels to push harder by giving them a real visual target to beat, not just the time on a stopwatch,” Puma said in the video description.