Have you ever been out for a long run while trying to eat a tomatoe? It’s not an easy combination to pull off.
Thankfully, a Japanese ketchup and tomato sauce company named Kagome, have created a so-called Tomatan – a humanoid-looking backpack that sits on an athlete’s shoulders and serves up tomatoes to eat during a race or marathon.
According to Discovery, the hands-free robot has a tomato-shaped head with a mouth that opens to dispense a tomato. Metal arms latch on to the fruit and come down over an individual’s mouth to feed them. The robot can be loaded with six mid-sized tomatoes.
“Tomatoes have lots of nutrition that combats fatigue,” said Shigenori Suzuki of maker Kagome.
According to therakyatpost, by tugging a tiny lever in the foot moves the arms to catch a tomato from the dispensing shoot. The arms then rotate the fruit over the runner’s head and hold it in front of his mouth.
“We used about 100 tomatoes to complete this machine,” said Novmichi Tosa, of creator Meiwa Denki, a company known for its off-the-wall devices and musical instruments.
“We focused mostly on its visual design.”
In Sunday’s Tokyo race, a Kagome runner will wear a smaller tomato-dispensing device called the Petit-Tomatan. That machine, which consists of a “delivery tube attached to a mini-tomato holster worn on the runner’s back,” will weigh about 6.6 pounds, according to AFP. It also includes a timer that will keep the weary marathoner from running through the tomato supply too quickly.
Tomatan was designed by Meiwa Denki, a company known for their eccentric devices. Inventor Nomichi Tosa notes that approximately 100 tomatoes were used in the creation of Tomatan. The gentleman suffering beneath Tomatan’s cruel yoke in these photos is Kagome employee Shigenori Suzuki, who will participate in the Tokyo Marathon along with his new robot “friend”.
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