Flying Robot Can Be Your Running Coach

If you have ever worried about venturing out on your own for a run, then this robot is what you need. This little flying bot can fly along side of you and keep you company. Or if you want more than that, then it has an advanced mode where it goes in front of you and encourages you to go faster. It works be locking in on a target on your shirt and then staying with you. Not only does this machine provide companionship or coaching, but it could provide a sense of security. Although, I don’t think this was the original intent of the designers, this robot could be of great use to watch over the lone runner out on a long run. It seems to me that the robot could be modified to signal if the runner is motionless for a period of time. If the runner is injured or ill, then help could be on the way. With a little more programming and GPS hardware, maybe the robot could also track location and mileage. To me the potential for this flying exercise monitor is tremendous. It is not yet in production and still needs development work (it only has a battery life of about 20 minutes), but I look forward to seeing where this goes.


Chad Toprak's jogging buddy is an autonomous robot drone helicopter which has has programmed to follow him & pace him while running.

Chad Toprak with his hovering robot. Photo: Craig Sillitoe

The RMIT honors student is part of the team behind the Joggobot, an autonomous whizzing device that levitates in front of joggers and encourages them to get fit.

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See Robot Run

This is one impressive robot.  Watch it in action on this video at You Tube.  Sure, it can not run uphill or withstand a push greater than a human’s, but it is hard to not consider this a quantum leap (no pun intended) in bipedal robots.  Toyota is known for building quality automobiles and not so much for robots.  However, they have now demonstrated that their robotics technology is also at the cutting edge.  Read more in the article from Artificial Intelligence and Robotics.

Video Credit:  Toyota

Toyota’s most recent humanoid robot prototype (one of many partner robots the automotive giant is developing) stands 130cm tall and weighs 50Kgr. Its legs have 7 degrees of freedom and it can run at an average speed of 7 km/h. In contrast, ASIMO’s maximum speed is 6km/h. The Toyota researchers had to develop new real-time methods for balance control. These methods make it possible for the robot to remain balanced when an external force such as a push from a human is applied when in motion.
The below video from Toyota demonstrates the running capabilities of the new humanoid robot. The robot takes a step every 340ms and has no contact with the ground for 100ms of that. Notice in the video how the robot remains balanced even after pushed by the human.

Toyota’s running humanoid robot
Awesom-o (
Mon, 20 Jul 2009 09:52:00 GMT