Sit down, because you might not be ready for this.
A company in Japan is offering runners everywhere the opportunity to refuel on the go with tomatoes – by wearing an 18-pound robot on your shoulders as you jog.
Meet Tomatan, a backpack/robot with a tomato-shaped head and a mouth that opens to dispense a tomato into its circular, metal arms, from which it gets brought straight to your mouth while you’re on the go.
According to Kagome, Japan’s largest supplier of tomato juice and ketchup, people running marathons – specifically the one in Tokyo – really need this…thing.
“Tomatoes have lots of nutrition that combats fatigue,” explains employee Shigenori Suzuki.
Kagnome collaborated with artistic studio Maywa Denki on the concept and design, and one of the latter’s founders, Novmichi Tosa, talked a bit about the process.
“We used about 100 tomatoes to complete this machine. We focused mostly on its visual design.”
Suzuki is representing Kagome in the Tokyo Marathon and plans to wear Tomatan during a different 5km run. Tosa will run, too, albeit bogged down a bit by the tools necessary to fix the robot in case it breaks down mid-race.
If you’re a runner who is loving this idea, but not the idea of carrying an extra 18 pounds on your trek, don’t worry – a Petit-Tomatan also exists. It weighs just 3kg and is worn more like a backpack.
Tomatoes on the go…I mean. If they could figure out how to feed me a BLT on demand, I might be in.
Preferably without the running part.