Adidas robot factory pumps out its first city-specific running shoes

adidas am4 robot made running shoe
Adidas
The first major project undertaken by Adidas’s automated Speedfactory plant in Germany is underway, with the robot army pumping out the new AM4 shoe aimed at runners.

Adidas said the factory, located in Ansbach in the south of the country, will help the firm “to explore, test and co-create with consumers, as well as constantly invent and reinvent design, and define the future of how the brand creates.”

Speaking of co-creating with consumers, the robot-made AM4 will appear in several city-specific editions following interviews with local athletes about their running habits and styles, as well as the running conditions in the places where they live.

We’ve asked Adidas to offer up some details about the design of the AM4(LDN) shoe and how the consultations with London runners influenced its design, and will update when we hear back. For now, though, let’s assume the interviewees got around to mentioning the U.K.’s  rainy weather, which hopefully led to the inclusion of some waterproofing in the final design.

Adidas said that as each shoe has been designed using feedback from athletes, “the AM4 project will be a constant beta mode, with insights taken from consumers following each product launch used to shape future designs.”

Yes, it may sound like a rather elaborate marketing ruse to some, but perhaps each city-specific pair really will suit the highly tuned feet of experienced runners who pound the streets of their particular city day in, day out. But if you do end up swearing by them, you may feel compelled to fork out for additional pairs should you ever jet off to any of the other cities where Adidas’s AM4 shoe will become available.

These include Paris, where the AM4PAR will be released later this month, followed in the coming months by launches in Los Angeles (AM4LA), New York (AM4NYC), Tokyo (AM4TKY), and Shanghai (AM4SHA). Pricing is yet to be announced.

Adidas’s 15,000-square-foot Speedfactory in Germany is now fully operational and the company has plans to pump out as many as 500,000 pairs of shoes a year.

A second facility — much larger at 74,000 square feet — will also open shortly in Atlanta. The production of AM4 footwear for all markets will be supported by both locations, but each facility’s main focus will be localized production, Adidas said, adding that with its cutting-edge manufacturing technologies, the U.S. factory will enable it “to create products in increasingly high volumes with advanced complexity in color, materials, and sizes.”

Emerging Tech

This exotic new material somehow gets thicker when stretched

Scientists at the U.K.’s University of Leeds have discovered a synthetic material which actually gets thicker the more it’s stretched. Here are some of the things it could be used for.
Digital Trends Live

CEO of shoe startup OB/VS talks about exploration-focused footwear

Today we had the founder of OB/VS Kelly Dachtler to talk about why he wanted to start a footwear company, what makes the shoes his firm manufactures unique, and what future products are in store.
Computing

Ryzen 3000 CPUs could be the most powerful ever. Here's what we know

AMD's upcoming Ryzen 3000 generation of CPUs could be the most powerful processors we've ever seen, with higher core counts, greater clock speeds, and competitive pricing. Here's what we know so far.
Movies & TV

Stay inside this winter with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Killing Eve'

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Emerging Tech

Early-detection system for wildfires could save many states from big burns

When it comes to dealing with the growing problem of raging wildfires, a new wireless smart sensor system could help spot burgeoning blazes before they rage out of control. Here's how it works.
Outdoors

Light up the night! Here are the five best headlamps money can buy

Headlamps make all the difference when camping or walking the dog at night, especially when you're in need of both hands. From Black Diamond and Petzl to Coast here are some of the best headlamps on the market.
Emerging Tech

Elon Musk to unveil tunnel elevators and autonomous pods on December 18

We'll soon learn if Elon Musk's high-speed tunnel plan is a serious effort at ending traffic jams or little more than a fancy theme park ride. A big unveiling event is coming on December 18, a week later than originally planned.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.
Emerging Tech

Feast your eyes on the wildest, most elaborate Rube Goldberg machines ever built

Want to see something totally mesmerizing? Check out several of the best Rube Goldberg machines from across the internet, including one that serves cake and other that do ... nothing particularly useful.
Emerging Tech

The 20 best tech toys for kids will make you wish you were 10 again

Looking for the perfect toy or gadget for your child? Thankfully, we've rounded up some of our personal favorite tech toys, including microscopes, computer kits, and a spherical droid from a galaxy far, far away.
Emerging Tech

Scoot your commute! Here are the 9 best electric scooters on the market

Electric scooters are an affordable, convenient way to minimize your carbon footprint and zip around town. Check out 8 of our current favorites, whether you're working with a budget or have some cash to spare.
Emerging Tech

Sick of walking everywhere? Here are the best electric skateboards you can buy

Thanks for Kickstarter and Indiegogo, electric skateboards are carving a bigger niche than you might think. Whether you're into speed, mileage, or something a bit more stylish, here are the best electric skateboards on the market.
Emerging Tech

Hear the sounds of wind on Mars from InSight’s latest audio recording

NASA's InSight craft has captured the sound of the wind blowing on the surface of Mars. The audio file was picked up by the air pressure sensor and the seismometer which detected vibrations from the 10 to 15 mph winds in the area.
Features

Has Columbus, Ohio raised its IQ yet? A progress report from the mayor

Two years ago, the city of Columbus in Ohio received $40 million to pursue smart city initiatives. So, what’s happened since then? We spoke with its mayor, Andrew Ginther, to discuss progress and what’s ahead.