As reports in the online magazine WIRED UK:

The Exertion Games Lab at RMIT University in Melbourne has developed a drone called Joggobot that will provide company and pace-setting for runners.

Joggobot is a quatrocopter that features an onboard camera that can lock onto a pattern on a special t-shirt. It then flies just in front of you to set a good pace and keep you motivated.

“Both the Joggobot and the jogger are affected by environmental conditions such as wind,” the team explains. “Both’s performance is affected by rain. Both get “tired” (Joggobot’s speed diminishes with low battery) and with both you can hear if they invest physical effort: the jogger puffs, the Joggobot whirrs. We believe the match in focus on the body can facilitate more engaging experiences, for example joggers might ‘relate’ more to Joggobot because it has a body.”

Joggobot was developed by Floyd Mueller and Eberhard Grather who took anAR Drone — made by Parrot — and programmed it to recognises a particular marker pattern on a t-shirt.

The drone has two modes: companion mode, where the device stays alongside the jogger, and coach mode, which sets a slightly more challenging speed. Joggobot has been designed as a substitute for a running partner

Joggobot’s battery currently only lasts around 20 minutes, which could prove to be a problem for the exercise companion. The team plans to make amendments to Joggobot, including increasing the range of controls.


About horowitzrun

Jeff is a certified running, cycling, and triathlon coach, and is the author of "My First 100 Marathons" (Skyhorse Press 2008) and "Smart Marathon Training" (Velo Press 2011). An obviously addicted runner, Jeff has run at least one marathon in every state and on 6 continents, including marathons in South Africa, China, Bangkok, and Antarctica. Jeff is available for group, one-on-one, and virtual coaching. Options include: 1. Basic Training Plan. This includes a customized training schedule geared towards a goal race, with a detailed running schedule that would include all distances and target times for each workout, including speedwork, tempo, and endurance sessions. 2. Complete Fitness and Race Plan. This includes the plan listed above, plus the non-running workouts and drills that runners need for better overall fitness and performance. You would get strength & core workouts, as well as run-specific training drills and stretches. 3. Virtual Coaching. This includes all of the above, implemented on a week-by-week basis. We review each week's progress at week's end so that adjustments can be made. The program is tailored to suit you right up to race day. It involves more contact, on a weekly or even daily basis. 4. Full Coaching for athletes in the Washington DC area. All of the above, plus a weekly workout together including speedwork, drills, and strength training. 5. Individual track sessions. One-on-one track-based workouts. Contact Jeff for pricing.
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