Ever felt like there was something missing while you go for a jog? Like an unsatisfied yearning, a hungering left unanswered?
If you did, you’re not alone. Japanese vegetable juice company Kagome thinks they have the answer in the shape of a wearable robot that feeds you tomatoes while you run. Weighing in at 18 pounds / 8kg, Tomatan can be worn as a tomato-headed-backpack.
At the flip of a switch Tomatan will grab a tomato with its metal arms then swing them over your head and feed the juicy treat to you. Japan-based artistic studios Maywa Denki, well known for their unusual musical instruments and other devices, designed the robot — and an inexplicably large amount of the berries were involved in the process.
“We used about 100 tomatoes to complete this machine,” said Novmichi Tosa, one of the founders of Meiwa Denki. “We focused mostly on its visual design.”
Now, I really like Tomatan. It looks awesome and seems like a great conversation starter with the mademoiselles. But there is one thing that’s still beyond my grasp…Why? Why would anyone want to bite into a tomato while he’s running?
Awesome? Undoubtedly. Useful? Well, according to Kagome, which claims to be Japan’s largest supplier of ketchup and tomato juice, people taking part in the Tokyo marathon really need this.
“Tomatoes have lots of nutrition that combats fatigue,” said Kagome employee Shigenori Suzuki.
Suzuki intends to wear Tomatan on Saturday 21st, when he will be representing Kagome in the Tokyo Marathon. During the 5km long fun run, Tosa will be running beside him with tools just in case the robot needs fixing or Suzuki encounters a problem.
Then on Sunday 22 February during the full Tokyo Marathon, a professional runner from Kagome will take part using a lighter version of the tomato robot known as Petit-Tomatan.
As this robot is much smaller, the runner will need to hold a delivery tube up to their mouth through which the tomatoes will be delivered. Petit-Tomatan also features a timer so the runner isn’t fed too many tomatoes in one go.