At the Tokyo Institute of Technology, researchers are working to develop and improve a machine referred to as the swimming robot. Sure, they have a ways to go, years of development before their swimming robot can top Michael Phelps, but once technology crosses a certain threshold, it advances rapidly. From the video above, it appears we’re getting there. Just imagine it, a swim-robot training partner, doing lap after lap with you, matching you stroke for stroke. Chewing on that idea awhile…and then consider how a swimming robot could modernize our sport and swimming in general…
1. They could help with technique
Since 65% of people are visual learners, one of the easiest ways to teach is to lead by example. Imitating a human’s technique, however, is difficult because we have a tendency to be inconsistent. It is impossible to make every stroke identical. Our strokes eventually change angle and velocity when we get tired. Robots don’t get tired. They don’t have muscles or lactic acid. They are able to take perfect stroke after perfect stroke. They could be great teachers…in the future. GoSwim? Where is your Swimming Robot? Have you made a down payment yet?
2. They could aid in the development of tech suits
Since robots are able to mimic the butterfly and backstroke, suit developers are able to measure water resistance and other factors of competitive swimming more effectively. The more realistic the robots become — in the future — the more rapidly suit manufactures will pump out newer and better tech suits.
3. They could help save lives
Even though thousands of people are certified to become lifeguards every year, news of drowning victims and water-related accidents are heard of every year. Robots will be 100% reliable for life-saving purposes in a matter of time. There is no such thing as too much safety.
4. You can probably beat them
Good news! As of now, swimming robots can only swim a 100 meters rough a third as fast as the world record, about 2:30 in meters. How fast is your 100 free? About a minute? Congratulations! You’re superior to a robot…for now, but a robot pace partner could be a top seller by the 2024 Olympic Games.
What do you think swimming robots will be used for in our sport?
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