Robotic running coach for visually impaired and blind runners
Did your running partner unexpectedly go on a business trip or get sick and you have to skip your running training again due to lack of a guide runner? If things go according to runfun, then these times are over. runfun GmbH (www.runfun.com) is a robotics start-up from Augsburg that is currently developing ROBLIN – a robotic running trainer for blind and visually impaired people. What autonomous cars are on a large scale, ROBLIN is on a small scale:
An electrically powered vehicle that can automatically travel a distance from a start to a destination while avoiding obstacles in its path. The speed at which ROBLIN will travel depends entirely on the training requirements. ROBLIN can continuously adjust its speed between 0 and 18 km/h and regulates its speed to follow a preset target heart rate or speed at which the runners should complete their running training. ROBLIN can execute complete training plans and, for example, carry out interval training or even a running game with the runner.
ROBLIN is intended to step in if such a leading runner is not available or if one simply wants to run alone.
Runfun launched the RUFUS running trainer for people without visual impairment a while ago. Even sighted people often make mistakes when running and like to consult a trainer in order to carry out their running training in a systematic, goal-oriented and above all health-promoting way. The fitness trackers that have been flooding the market for years are of very limited help in this regard.
In its development of ROBLIN, runfun is working closely with the Finnish company GIM from Helsinki. This company is developing a robot that can take on the role of a guide dog.
It is very important for us to consider the needs and expectations of visually impaired runners into the development process at an early stage, which is why we do regular test runnings at various locations.
If you are interested you will find an overview of our projects here.