Watch This Robotic Runner Match Usain Bolt

This robotic running companion is going to inspire runners in a very different way.

5. 3. 16 by Colin Aboy
Image by Puma

A New Running Buddy

In workouts such as running or jogging, pacing is important. Actually, pacing is important in all workouts. But in any case, having a buddy around to keep pace with you often helps. It could be your friend, neighbor, trainer, or maybe even your dog.

But now, it seems that running buddy of yours could be getting a bit more…metallic.

Meet Puma’s BeatBot, the shoe company’s newly-developed running companion and trainer. And it’s a new kind of tech. Unlike Boston Dynamics robotic running dog, this is a four-wheeled, self-driving robot. It was created by three students from MIT, a NASA robotics engineer, and Puma’s ad agency, J. Walter Thompson, and they made sure it’s not easy to beat.

But Can You Beat It?

Puma doesn’t call it wearable tech; rather, it’s “race-able” tech.


Reports say that BeatBot can run up to speeds of 44.6 km/h (27.7 mi/h), and if you know your world records, that’s the foot-speed famed Usain Bolt hit back in 2009!

But there’s no use to a companion that might just run off the track the moment it hits its top speeds, so this robot’s engineers built it with nine IR sensors that scans the lines on tracks, and they keep it on course. An Arduino monitors its speed by measuring the revolutions of the BeatBot’s wheels.

So that you know that you’ve lost the race, BeatBot also comes with LED lights and front and rear GoPro cameras. However, through an app, you can lessen that outrageous Usain Bolt speed to something you can eventually beat or keep pace with. Why else call it a BeatBot?

Unfortunately, for now, you’ll still be stuck with your best pal or your trainer, because its price is yet to be announced, and the robot is currently only being offered to Puma-sponsored athletes.


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