Puma's BeatBot is a real-life ghost car for runners

Shawn Knight

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

Ghost cars are a staple of racing games, allowing players to gauge their current lap with that of their all-time best performance through the use of a semi-transparent representation of the vehicle during the record lap.

Now, German athletics apparel company Puma has essentially created a ghost car for athletes. The Puma BeatBot is a small robotic RC car packed with nine infrared sensors and loads of technology designed to help runners reach their maximum potential through competition.

Using a smartphone app, runners can enter in the exact distance they want to race and the time they want to beat. The BeatBot will emulate that performance alongside the runner, allowing you to try and top your own best time, your rival’s best run or even Usain Bolt’s world-record 100 meter dash should you want to forever feel like a loser.

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to get your hands on the personal training robot as Puma says they’re simply too expensive to produce on a large scale. Instead, they’re being reserved for (Puma-sponsored?) athletes like Bolt.

Nevertheless, it’s a neat idea that could perhaps inspire others to create something similar.

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TS Evangelist
Just find a real human running friend/partner for god sake...
Wow, you are short-sighted, aren't you? As if everyone was a high performance runner to improve your time; and there's also the shortcoming of free time not matching between friends to always be available on-demand...

'Haters gonna hate'

Greg S

TS Evangelist
I think it's not the cost that's the problem. I think it's the lack of market for such an item. You wouldn't make money selling only a few hundred of these at $1000 each when it costs you $250k to develop it plus manufacturing and material costs of production.