Stop press!! We are in the future! While Amazon and others are attempting to ship your e-commerce purchases via drones, some others are using drones for a healthier thing. Running with drones is now a thing, and to make the activity sound less robotic, they are called Jogging Companions. Marty McFly would be so proud.

Jokes aside, running with drones or jogging companions is becoming a rage in the more developed world. More and more people are signing up to the idea of running with a unmanned drone such as a quadcopter. The arrangement works something like this: Essentially the drone leads, and you try to follow, matching its pace. It takes a short time to adjust and get in tune with it, but the effects can be quite beneficial for all levels of runners.

It subconsciously controls your pace and running cadence. Since you can program the drone to take you on a certain route, you can also arrange it such that it can take you on a pre-defined course that’s ideal for your training. In addition, no one wants to let a drone tell them they aren’t fit, so it’s a self-motivating exercise.

Exertion Games Labs’ Joggobot is one such running drone that’s become very popular. Tethered to your smartphone, the drone can be controlled along a number of parameters such as speed and altitude of its flight. The drone follows you by focussing on a special T-shirt that acts as a bullseye for the UAV.

The Joggobot has two modes: a Companion mode, where it automatically adjusts its speed to match the runner’s pace, and a Coaching mode that challenges the runner by pulling ahead a little, and urging them to catch up. Like other running drones, the Joggobot won’t necessarily take a straight path, and there will be times when it crisscrosses in front of you, creating the illusion that it’s more than a robot.

There is a section of runners that find running with drones a little obtrusive, since they can’t focus all their attention on their environment and could be distracted by the flying robot. So just like running gear, apparel and training routine, it’s all about your personal comfort zone. It might even work wonders for you, so why not let a drone tell you where to run, the next time you are tired of your regular routine?

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