The personal trainer of the (near) future may as well be a robot, as it is exemplified by Gymbot, a concept that was presented at ICSR 2011 Design Awards.
Massimo Battaglia, the designer of this robot, envisions a future where obesity, a very serious problem that will probably become even more so, can be prevented or treated with the help of Gymbot.
One of the best things about having a robot as a personal trainer is that it is at your disposal 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, unlike human personal trainers that might get a bit cranky if you call them at 3 AM in the morning to tell them that you are in the mood for some physical exercises. As seen in the above picture, Gymbot is shaped as a humanoid and has several features that make it perfect for personal training, even though some of them may seem misplaced. The speakers, for example, from where the voice of the robot comes out, are placed where humans typically have their ears. The face features a 3D video camera that resembles Microsoft Kinect, in that it tracks the shape, posture and movements of your body. A thermal camera that is also placed on Gymbot’s face determines whether you are under stress or not.
The above picture features the options that can be selected from Gymbot’s menu, which is displayed on the touchscreen placed on its chest. As one could easily tell, all of these options are useful when it comes to staying in shape and having a healthy body. The directional microphone placed near the abdominal area is used not only for hearing your voice, but also for determining your heart rate and blood pressure. These two aspects are essential when doing physical exercises. Not at last, Gymbot also features electical impedance sensors for measuring your body mass index. This part is important for tracking the progress of your training.
Presumably, Gymbot would be able to do all sorts of physical exercises, from push-ups to stretches. Provided that it does not become self-conscious at some time, this personal trainer could turn out to be very useful.