As the world’s electronic companies scramble to set the agenda for wearable devices, the vegetable juice company Kagome has gone one step farther — unveiling a wearable tomato machine.
The Tomatan is a backpack that can be loaded with six midsize tomatoes — enough, say the makers, to power runners through this weekend’s Tokyo Marathon.
“Tomatoes have lots of nutrition that combats fatigue,” Shigenori Suzuki of Kagome said Thursday.
The Tomatan looks like a small humanoid robot, with a tomato for a head, and sits snugly on the athlete’s shoulders. Tugging a tiny lever in the foot moves the arms to catch a tomato from the dispensing chute. 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 Nobumichi Tosa of Meiwa Denki, the company that devised the device and is known for its off-the-wall machines and musical instruments. “We focused mostly on its visual design.”
Despite its 8-kg weight, Kagome’s Suzuki said he will don the device for a 5-km fun run on Saturday.
“I will run by his side carrying my tools, just like an F1 mechanic,” Tosa said.
In Sunday’s full Tokyo Marathon, a runner from Kagome will participate with a lighter wearable tomato machine — the Petit-Tomatan — which weighs only about 3 kg, Suzuki said.