June 9, 2012
Runners, you no longer have to convince your reluctant partner to put on sneaks and hit the streets with you, thanks to my new favorite drone: the Joggobot, a companion robot for runners. Using a built-in camera, the autonomous drone hones in on sensors in a custom shirt and exhorts you to keep up with it.
“People might feel chased if the Joggobot was behind them,” says researcher Eberhard Grather in a video. So instead your little drone friend flies in front of you.
Floyd Mueller and Grather, researchers at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia, tricked out the Parrot AR Drone, which is usually operated with a smartphone, to fly autonomously. You can set it for companion mode — in which the drone flies at a steady pace — or coach mode, “which sets a slightly more challenging speed,” reports WiredUK. (Coach mode sounds suspiciously like the fake rabbit used on dog race tracks.)