New Puma Robotic Running Companion Can Keep Pace With Usain Bolt

New Puma Robotic Running Companion ‘Beatbot’ Can Keep Pace With Usain Bolt

While wearables have taken off in the past few years to help people track their fitness levels and increase motivation, PUMA shifts the focus to peripheral technology by introducing the BeatBot.

The programmable and self-driving robot creates a visual target as it races alongside you, providing a separate cue to beat from a time on a stopwatch. Runners can choose the time and distance they want to run against, and the BeatBot will pace itself with the programmed metrics — even matching Usain Bolt’s 44-km/hour world record.

Designed by a NASA robotics engineer, MIT students and ad agency JWT, the robot contains nine IR sensors, dual GoPro cameras and wheels programmed via Arduino. The current model is only available to PUMA-sponsored athletes for now, but the company hopes to roll out new products soon to inspire athletes at all levels.

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