Runners, why train with a stopwatch when you can have your competition at your side? That's the idea behind Puma's new training device, the "Beat Bot," an app-controlled robot that athletes can work out with, created out of JWT New York.
Via an app, a user can program the Beat Bot with the length of time and distance of a race they're training for. He or she then sets it down on the track, where it will speed along so the athlete can practice for peak performance. It can be set to the athlete's best time, a rival's time or even that of the world's fastest man, record holder and Puma athlete Usain Bolt.
The Beat Bot has a top speed of 44 kilometers per hour. It works through nine infrared sensors that scan and follow the track line. It also features LED lignts that allow runners to see it in their peripheral vision, so they can sense it as if there's a human competitor at their side. The Beat Bot is also equipped with front and rear GoPro cameras that allow racers to review their performance.
According to JWT N.Y. ECD Florent Imbert, the Beat Bot was created with the help of a NASA robotics engineer and three MIT grads. For now, it's just available to athletes and teams. "While the cost of the current model make it prohibitive for the average consumers to train with, the plan is always be to develop new ideas, models and products to inspire every athlete to be forever faster," he said.