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(11,700 posts)
Tue Jun 5, 2012, 05:06 AM Jun 2012

Go for a jog with a helicopter drone

By Paul Marks
June 1, 2012

Joggers who find it hard to set a steady pace could soon have a robot companion to help – a small, quad-rotor helicopter drone. The system, called Joggobot, is being developed by Floyd Mueller and Eberhard Gräther at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia.

The duo plan to allow users to enter their preferred running speed into a smartphone app that controls the drone so it flies ahead of a jogger at just the right pace. Or it could be set to maintain a distance of a few metres no matter what pace a runner is going.

They tested their idea using the foam-fendered AR Drone made by Parrot of Paris, France. Using custom software, they programmed it to follow a bright blue and orange pattern painted on a runner's T-shirt (pictured below).

As soon as an onboard camera sees the shirt, the craft takes off and hovers about a metre off the ground. If it ever loses sight of the pattern, the drone lands automatically.

Mueller says he and Gräther are tinkering with settings to test what motivates runners. "How will people interact with a robotic exercise companion? Should the robot be more like a coach or more like a pet?" he asks. "One might make the exercise more effective, but the other might make it more fun. Which one is 'better'? And is there a 'better'?"

More: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn21877-go-for-a-jog-with-a-helicopter-drone.html

17 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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Go for a jog with a helicopter drone (Original Post) UnrepentantLiberal Jun 2012 OP
Quadrotors are just neat. (nt) Posteritatis Jun 2012 #1
I want one! wandy Jun 2012 #2
That's pretty cool. EnviroBat Jun 2012 #3
Maybe because I've been a very reluctant runner/jogger all my life.... MADem Jun 2012 #4
Does it come with Hellfire missiles? tclambert Jun 2012 #5
Might be OK if yesphan Jun 2012 #6
Some of the more advanced ones are kinda mindboggling Posteritatis Jun 2012 #7
This would have had my husband very excited.... Little Star Jun 2012 #8
Cats away! Artist turns his dead pet into flying helicopter after it is killed by a car stockholmer Jun 2012 #9
Was it really necessary to put that in this thread? UnrepentantLiberal Jun 2012 #10
That darned cat! NYC_SKP Jun 2012 #17
This is just ridiculous bupkus Jun 2012 #11
A lot of people run better when they have someone to keep up with. Lisa0825 Jun 2012 #12
Or chasing them menacingly (see post 4!)? nt MADem Jun 2012 #13
LOL! nt Lisa0825 Jun 2012 #14
And yelling run faster fatty!!! Or install a cattle prod. Hassin Bin Sober Jun 2012 #15
Your words create a picture no artist could paint!! MADem Jun 2012 #16


(135,425 posts)
4. Maybe because I've been a very reluctant runner/jogger all my life....
Tue Jun 5, 2012, 12:02 PM
Jun 2012

(I fucking HATE doing it! Always have!)....

The concept, to me, seems more like THIS:

But I'll K/R this thread anyway, because it's a cool idea and might have other applications (put a camera on it and let it follow your kids to school, for example...).


(18,807 posts)
7. Some of the more advanced ones are kinda mindboggling
Tue Jun 5, 2012, 04:09 PM
Jun 2012

Like "throw one at a narrow passageway and it dodges through the gaps" mindboggling.

I kinda want a pack of the ones MIT was working on just for the hell of it.



(68,644 posts)
17. That darned cat!
Thu Jun 7, 2012, 05:03 AM
Jun 2012

I love that flying cat. A dear pet, departed from this world, preserved and, in a sense, still with its owner!



(1,981 posts)
11. This is just ridiculous
Wed Jun 6, 2012, 06:33 AM
Jun 2012

No one needs a drone to go for a run. Running for me, back when I could run, was not only about exercise but getting away from it all, technology included.

All you need to run is a good pair of running shoes (and hopefully a pair of shorts and a T shirt).

This is just desensitizing people to drone surveillance. Making drones your friendly little jogging buddy. Just what we need. This sounds like something straight out of Brave New World.


(14,487 posts)
12. A lot of people run better when they have someone to keep up with.
Wed Jun 6, 2012, 09:06 AM
Jun 2012

When I was in a training program, I worked a lot harder because of the people who ran with me. Now that I am on my own, it is harder to keep pushing myself to the same extent. I think this is an interesting concept. You could have a variety of training programs set up, like tempo runs, sprints, etc.

It's probably too expensive for me, but I think it is kind of cool!

Hassin Bin Sober

(26,421 posts)
15. And yelling run faster fatty!!! Or install a cattle prod.
Thu Jun 7, 2012, 12:17 AM
Jun 2012

That's what I would need to motivate me to run.

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