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'Jogobot' lures lonely lardies

RMIT geeks create jogging drone stalker

Parrot Ar.Drone

The lonely life of the lazy runner need not be desolate or uninspired ever again thanks to a new companion robot from RMIT’s Exertion Games Lab, the Joggobot.

The unmanned aerial gadget, based on the A.R. Parrot, is equipped with a camera which zeroes in on sensors in a custom designed shirt tracking the jogger and putting him/her through their paces. There's a demo at the bottom of the story.

The Exertion Games Lab which is party of the School of Media and Communications at RMIT University. Headed by Dr Florian Mueller, the Lab aims to design technology that can motivate people to get away from the PCs and become physically active again.

Dr Mueller said, "we use Joggobot to explore questions such as: 'Will jogging with Joggobot motivate you to run faster? Or can Joggobot make you enjoy running more?'

You can set the bot buddy for companion mode, where it cruises at a steady pace or coach mode, which pushes the jogger out of their comfort zone. The battery only lasts for 20 minutes at this stage of development.

Dr Mueller said that the lab is focused on the “merging of 'play' and the active human body, drawing from research streams such as interaction design, human-computer interaction and games research. The culture in the Lab is one of interdisciplinary work fostered by creative scientists, designers, artists and engineers from all over the world."

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