Last week Japan’s largest supplier of tomato juice and ketchup unveiled a wearable robot that sits atop a user’s shoulders and feeds them tomatoes as they run.
According to International Business Times…
“Tomatan is a robot that can be worn as a backpack. Weighing 8kg (18 pounds), it features a tomato shaped head with a mouth that opens to dispense the tomato into circular metal arms that then come down over the person’s mouth to feed them a tomato.”
As odd as the robot’s function may sound, the vegetable juice company behind the invention, Kagome, reported that they designed the robot because they wanted to help runners out, adding that, “Tomatoes have lots of nutrition that combats fatigue”.
While this may be true, many are still saying the fun project was more or less just a publicity stunt. Needless to say, real scientific research – to see if the benefits of being fed tomatoes while you run outweighs the energy expended carrying a machine like this – was not conducted.
Check out the video below to see the Tomatan in action…
The robot was showcased this past weekend at the annual Tokyo Marathon, where a Kagome representative wore the Tomatan during a 5k fun run.
A professional runner from Kagome wore a lighter version in the full marathon, known as the Petit-Tomatan (shown in the above video). The Petit is similar to the full-size version, but weighs just 3kg (about 6.6 pounds) and is worn on the back instead of over head.