Skip to main content

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

adidas am4 robot made running shoe
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.”

Editors' Recommendations

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
AI turned Breaking Bad into an anime — and it’s terrifying
Split image of Breaking Bad anime characters.

These days, it seems like there's nothing AI programs can't do. Thanks to advancements in artificial intelligence, deepfakes have done digital "face-offs" with Hollywood celebrities in films and TV shows, VFX artists can de-age actors almost instantly, and ChatGPT has learned how to write big-budget screenplays in the blink of an eye. Pretty soon, AI will probably decide who wins at the Oscars.

Within the past year, AI has also been used to generate beautiful works of art in seconds, creating a viral new trend and causing a boon for fan artists everywhere. TikTok user @cyborgism recently broke the internet by posting a clip featuring many AI-generated pictures of Breaking Bad. The theme here is that the characters are depicted as anime characters straight out of the 1980s, and the result is concerning to say the least. Depending on your viewpoint, Breaking Bad AI (my unofficial name for it) shows how technology can either threaten the integrity of original works of art or nurture artistic expression.
What if AI created Breaking Bad as a 1980s anime?
Playing over Metro Boomin's rap remix of the famous "I am the one who knocks" monologue, the video features images of the cast that range from shockingly realistic to full-on exaggerated. The clip currently has over 65,000 likes on TikTok alone, and many other users have shared their thoughts on the art. One user wrote, "Regardless of the repercussions on the entertainment industry, I can't wait for AI to be advanced enough to animate the whole show like this."

Read more
4 simple pieces of tech that helped me run my first marathon
Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar displaying pace information.

The fitness world is littered with opportunities to buy tech aimed at enhancing your physical performance. No matter your sport of choice or personal goals, there's a deep rabbit hole you can go down. It'll cost plenty of money, but the gains can be marginal -- and can honestly just be a distraction from what you should actually be focused on. Running is certainly susceptible to this.

A few months ago, I ran my first-ever marathon. It was an incredible accomplishment I had no idea I'd ever be able to reach, and it's now going to be the first of many I run in my lifetime. And despite my deep-rooted history in tech, and the endless opportunities for being baited into gearing myself up with every last product to help me get through the marathon, I went with a rather simple approach.

Read more
This bracelet helps you fall asleep faster and sleep longer

This content was produced in partnership with Apollo Neuroscience.
Have you been struggling to get the recommended seven hours of sleep? It's always frustrating when you get in bed at a reasonable time, then toss and turn for a hours before you actually sleep. The quality of that sleep is important too. If you're waking up multiple times during the night, you're likely not getting the quality REM cycle sleep that truly rejuvenates your body. If traditional remedies like herbal teas and noise machines just aren't helping, maybe it's time to try a modern solution. Enter the Apollo wearable.

Now we understand being a little skeptical. How can a bracelet on your wrist or ankle affect your sleep patterns? Certainly the answer to a better night's sleep can't be so simple. We considered these same things when we first heard of it. We'll dive deeper into the science behind the Apollo wearable, but suffice it to say that many people have experienced deeper, uninterrupted sleep while wearing one.
A non-conventional approach to better sleep

Read more