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Puma BeatBot Robotic Pacer: Harder, Better, Faster, Bolter

by Lambert Varias
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In competitive running, pacers are hired runners who run at a pre-determined speed – and therefore time – so that the contestants can gauge their own pace or be motivated to run faster. To push its sponsored runners during training, Puma made Beatbot, a robotic pacer.

puma_beatbot_robot_running_trainer_1zoom in

You can think of BeatBot as a smart RC car. It’s equipped with a 9-axis accelerometer and infrared sensors to help it follow the lines on a racetrack. To set the robot’s pace, the runner enters the distance they want to run and the time they want to beat in a mobile app. Puma says BeatBot’s maximum speed is just under 45kph (approx. 28mph) – around the same as the personal best of Usain Bolt, the fastest man alive.

Understandably, Puma hasn’t said much about BeatBot’s hardware, but some are speculating that the robot is based on the Traxxas Rustler RC car. It’s a good starting point for anyone looking to make their own robot pacer.

[via Freshness]

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Comments are closed for posts older than 90 days.

Comments (2):

  1. Rufus says:

    Cool Gadget!
    If you are a regular (= not PUMA-sponsored) runner you do not have to wait until Puma brings out a running companion for you, if they ever will. runfun, a start-up company in Germany, has developed a robotic running companion that can move nearly on any road (www.runfun.com). They will launch their product RUFUS in fall
    this year and it will not cost more than a decent treadmill.

  2. Rustin says:

    Great product idea, a bit gimmicky but in a very good way. It could be improved, howerver. It seems like it should be made to look like a running rabbit (or anything else you might be inclined to follow) to bring on the chasing instinct. :-) On the flip side you could make it look/sound like something you would want to run away from like a skunk or dragon for the purpose of calling on the even stronger “fleeing” instint. :-)

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