Forget about personal trainers and jogging buddies, Chad Toprak prefers to work up a sweat alongside a hovering AR.Drone.
The RMIT honours student is part of the team behind the Joggobot, an autonomous whizzing device that levitates in front of joggers and encourages them to get fit.
”It’s a really unique feeling to be running with a flying robot,” the 22-year-old says. ”Social joggers have partners they jog with. Sometimes they are not available and the next best thing can be a robot.”
They bought an AR.Drone and programmed it to respond to an orange and blue marker on a T-shirt worn by the jogger. A built-in camera attached to the AR.Drone lets it track the jogger and move accordingly. ”The original product was controlled by a smartphone. We turned that into an autonomous robot that controls itself.”