You are pretty much guaranteed to get some crazy stares if you step out jogging with a helicopter drone. That's okay, someone has to set the pace for the future of fitness, and as long as you are going to be that person you need a partner that's a little more formidable than just your smartphone to help keep you at an optimal speed.
This quadrotor helicopter will also help you keep your pace as a matter of fact. Just don a t-shirt with a specially designed color pattern; the camera in the drone will focus on that color pattern and fly ahead of you at the speed and distance you've set up via your smartphone.
Honestly, is there anything a quadrocopter can't do?
The Joggobot is the creation of Floyd Mueller and Eberhard Gräther at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia. The idea was to give a user something physical to react with when using a fitness program so they created the custom software to react with the drone and the shirt.
The foam-fendered AR Drone from Parrot will rise when it sees the colors in the shirt and pace itself in front of the user. It adjusts distance based on the parameters you've programmed into your smartphone app, and if it loses sight of the colors — if you turn your back for example — the drone will softly drop to the ground.
The duo behind the Joggobot seem to have the functional technology down, now they are working with various settings that might appeal to different kinds of users. There will be those that want the drone to simply help them with a pace and keep them company. Others will want it to challenge them like a . For some it might just be the fun of forcing the drone to adjust its speed by running faster and slower.
Everyone is motivated by something different when it comes to exercise.
When this prototype will be ready isn't known, but I can see it being not only a novelty but a pretty helpful fitness device as well. I know I'd get a kick out of chasing my very own quadrotor down the street — and I suspect I'm not the only one.
Via New Scientist