Race Against The Machine

If you were to ask the worlds most competitive runners, they’d more than likely tell you that training solo is one of the hardest parts of the regimen. For them, nothings more difficult than racing their invisible rival or even their best time. Well it seems like Puma is trying to dead that with their new technology that can be raced, the BeatBot.

Created by Puma’s New York based advertising agency J. Walter Thompson, with the help of a few Nasa engineers and some MIT students, the BeatBot functions by using its programmable nine infrared sensors that track straight or curved lines on the ground. Making one hundred steering acclimations per second to stay on target of lane marking lines, the BeatBot can reach speeds of up to 30 MPH if the user thinks him/herself that fast.


To begin, the athlete must first download an accompanying smartphone application, enter in the time they want to overcome or the distance they plan on running and place the BeatBot on the starting line one lane over. Just like a real race, the runner with get three prompts and then its off to the races.


“Everyone runs faster when there’s someone to beat…It gives runners a real target to keep up with.”-Puma

As the runner keeps track of his mechanical competition thru front and rear rows of LEDs, GOPro cameras strategically placed on the unit records the performance of the runner while still moving along its own line, all while keeping track of speed and distance travelled in real time. It also tells runners to speed up or slow down based on their individual movements during the trial


Currently only certain athletes signed with Puma can use the Beatbot, and even though it wont be launched for purchase anytime soon, Puma guarantees it will accomodates runners on all skill levels.


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