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.