#86: Chasebots

Today’s invention is inspired by the creativity of the people at Funky Moves Ltd, who are working to reduce childhood obesity by making exercise interesting.

It occurred to me that, as a fat 10 year old, I was always reluctant to take much part in the chasing games which engulfed the school playground at lunchtime. I therefore suggest the creation of a small team of moving robots (such as I crudely simulate using Starlogo).

Those children who wanted to take part could each be equipped with an RFID tag. They would then be chased by the team of collaborating Chasebots (they needn’t look menacing, perhaps the children themselves could paint covers for them).


When a child’s tag came within a certain distance of a bot, the tag would register this (‘YOU HAVE BEEN TAGGED, JOHNNY B OF P4’) and invite the child to become a chaser.

Over time, the team of bots would get to know which kids were easier to catch and adapt their strategy accordingly to help optimise the fun/exercise for individuals…staying in (slow) pursuit of a Bunter or flocking to corner a Billy Whizz. They might even sense when a child was not running as hard as usual and ask if they were ok.

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