Gizmos and Gadgets: Joggobot Flies Along with Joggers

No sooner than I ask readers to tell me about applications they would like personal robots to engage in, Joggobot shows up. What is it? A personal social companion that accompanies you as you jog.

Joggobot is a quadracopter drone with a built in camera and software program. The camera identifies the companion jogger by the specially marked T-shirt he or she wears.

Joggobot is designed to stay in front of you as you jog and react to your motion. It can hover above and in front of you or closer to the ground as if you were walking it like a dog. It slows down when you do. Turn your back to it and it loses contact and gently lowers itself to the ground.

You can choose two settings for the Joggobot: Companion Mode and Coach Mode. In the former the Joggobot accompanies you as you run or walk matching your pace. When you set it to the latter the Joggobot serves as a personal trainer forcing you to keep up with the pace it sets.

Joggobot is a product of the Exertion Games Lab at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia.

Battery powered the Joggobot currently can operate 20 minutes before needing a recharge. But the developers intend to increase the robots flying time and software functions.

A robot that accompanies you as you run or walk – what will they think of next? The distinctive marks on the jogger’s T-shirt are viewed by the on board camera to allow the robot quadracopter to maintain contact.

Send me information on personal robots you have encountered in your reading and I will happily publish the information here.


Len Rosen lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He is a researcher and writer who has a fascination with science and technology. He is married with a daughter who works in radio, and a miniature red poodle who is his daily companion on walks of discovery. More...