It’s difficult to choose the right fitness app for you from the plethora of alternatives currently on the market. Fitbit, Nike Plus, and Under Armour’s Healthbox are just some of the apps that encourage people to track and monitor their health and athletic performance.
According to their marketing techniques, this will help users understand their routine, and inspire them to carry on. In the end, this apps and trackers are ultimately trying to improve their performance.
But Puma has taken this idea and took it to a new level: Meet the Beatbot, one of the first smart devices in the raceable tech field.
At first sight, the ad agency J. Walter Thompson New York has created something that looks like a shoebox on wheels. But a lot more is hidden under its hood, as the BeatBot is a self-driving, programmable robot that can help athletes push their limits.
If you’re a runner and you know you’re more determined to run faster when you compete against someone – and not just the stopwatch – then the BeatBot is for you, as it gives you a real visual target to beat.
All you have to do is set a time and distance for the race, put the little robot on the starting line next to them, and begin running. There are various features on the BeatBot, such as pacing out the programmed race, and allowing athletes to race against their own best time or their rival’s best time.
If you’re feeling particularly sportive, you can even try to beat Usain Bolt’s best time, because the robot has no trouble matching the world-record holder’s top speed of 44-km/hour.
According to Florent Imbert, executive creative director of JWT New York, the team didn’t create the BeatBot in light of some academic insight.
Surely there is research that shows that head to head competition is the best kind because it raises performance levels, but the BeatBot followed more of a human truth. “Running against an invisible clock will never be as motivating as running against someone — or something,” he said.
More than the 9 infrared sensors that help the robot track data in real-time, navigate bends, and cross the finish line at just the time you’ve programmed, BeatBot also has rear LED lights so you can easily spot it in your peripheral vision.
Creators have also added GoPro cameras on the front and back so runners can review their race. For now, BeatBot is only available to Puma-sponsored athletes and teams. In the future, however, the company hopes to build new models to inspire every athlete.
Image Source: Fast Company