This Japanese Robot Will Dispense Whole Tomatoes Into Your Mouth While You Run

An 18 pound humanoid robot that perches on the shoulders of runners and feeds them.

Japanese ketchup company Kagome is trying to make tomatoes the next “it” thing for distance runners. This past weekend at the Tokyo Marathon, the company, in conjunction with kooky design firm Maywa Denki, debuted Tomatan, an 18 pound humanoid robot that perches on the shoulders of runners and feeds them whole tomatoes as they go.

At the official reveal last Thursday, representatives demonstrated the cute contraption. With a swift flick of a lever located on Tomatan’s foot, the robot arms move to catch one of the six tomatoes it’s loaded with. The arms then move over his head and hold the fruit in front of the runner’s mouth.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the idea for the wearable tomato dispensing robot originated when a developer decided that bananas could easily be replaced as the runner’s go-to snack. The company believes that the plump, red fruit’s beta-carotene, citric and amino acids make it just as healthful for marathoners in need of a boost.

Despite all the fanfare, and a turn on the shoulders of Kagome employee Shingenori Susuki during a three mile fun run this past weekend, the 18 pound Tomatan took a backseat during the actual marathon. Instead, the company sent an employee to run equipped with a lighter 6.6 pound version, the “Petit Tomatan.”

While Tomatan and Petit-Tomatan are a one-off project for now, all of the attention they’ve been getting may very well encourage its creators to persist with the project. My suggestion? The Chipatan, for gamers who don’t want to reach for the bowl. Or marketing Tomatan to Spain’s more hardcore Tomatina revelers.

via Library of Congress

In the months after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized the military to move Japanese-Americans into internment camps to defend the West Coats from spies.

From 1942 to 1946, an estimated 120,000 Japanese Americans, of which a vast majority were second- and third-generation citizens, were taken in their homes and forced to live in camps surrounded by armed military and barbed wire.

After the war, the decision was seen as a cruel act of racist paranoia by the American government against its own citizens.

The interment caused most of the Japanese-Americans to lose their money and homes.

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