Japanese Juice Company Invents a Robot to Feed You Tomatoes While You Run

istock / istock

If you’ve ever craved a bite of a juicy red tomato three miles into your 10-mile jog, then boy, does Japanese vegetable juice maker Kagome have a machine for you. On Thursday, Kagome announced the creation of the Tomatan, a mechanical tomato-dispensing backpack.

The Tomatan, which sits on the wearer’s shoulders and features an anthropomorphized tomato head and metal mechanical arms, can fit six mid-sized tomatoes. By pulling a lever in the robot’s foot, the athlete activates the machine, causing its arms to rotate over the runner’s head and hold a tomato in front of the wearer’s mouth.

Inventors at Kagome and Meiwa Denki, the company that designed the Tomatan, hope that the “humanoid robot” will aid runners during the Tokyo Marathon this weekend.

“Tomatoes have lots of nutrition that combats fatigue,” Kagome’s Shigenori Suzuki, who will wear the contraption during a 5 km fun run on Saturday, tells the Japan Times.

The Tomatan weighs in at nearly 18 pounds, but a lighter, 6.6-pound version, called the Petit-Tomatan, is also available. The Petit-Tomatan also features a timer that prevents the runner from binging on tasty tomato snacks too quickly.