To be fair, Kagome’s attempt at creating a tomato-providing contraption for marathon runners is clearly a tongue-in-cheek marketing stunt. However, the company insists the idea behind it is serious, pointing out that the humble tomato is an excellent source of nutrients and one that is often overlooked by sports enthusiasts such as long-distance runners.
The ‘Tomatan’ is the result of a collaboration between Kagome and artistic studio Maywa Denki, an outfit that has in its time produced a range of offbeat gadgets and bizarre musical instruments.
The machine resembles a humanoid robot – albeit one with a tomato for a head – and is worn on the shoulders. When the runner feels like it’s time for a nutrient boost, they simply tug a lever in the robot’s foot, which causes a tomato to pass from the dispensing chute into the robot’s hands. Its arms then rotate forward, bringing the fruit to the runner’s mouth. To see it in action, check out the video above.
Unfortunately, the device weighs a hefty 17.5 pounds (8kg) and can only carry six tomatoes, so you’d probably be better off stuffing them in your pockets instead of lugging Tomatan around.
On Sunday, however, some poor Kagome employee had to run the Tokyo marathon with this unwieldy wearable strapped to his body, though thankfully it was a smaller version weighing 6.5 pounds (3kg), called, appropriately, the Petit-Tomatan.
[Source: Japan Times]