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Automatic Running Machine

aka Automatic Treadmills
  [vote for,

I'm scared of running machines. More precicely, I'm scared of falling off the back of them. I was on one the other day thinking what I could do to make myself feel safer when I came up with this:

Put sensors underneath the tread belt that can detect where the foot strikes (shouldn't be difficult as it's quite a force). Use this information to speed up and slow down the belt on the machine so that your feet always hit roughly the same bit of the treadmill. If you fall behind, it slows down. If you go ahead, it speeds up. It could also warn you if you're going too far off to one side.

You get the accurate measurement of the running machine without having to mess about with controls of a running machine. Just get on and run -- it'll adjust and tell you how you're doing.

I don't think it would stop me feeling that I'm about to fall off the back, though. I think I'll stick to street running.

st3f, Oct 01 2002

Look http://www.mysimon....jhtml?cid=treadmill
nonpowered treadmills exist, but Consumer Reports doesn't recommend them [XSarenkaX]

I found one http://www.inch-awe...tread_da_manual.htm
Manual Treadmill [XSarenkaX, Oct 01 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]

I found one http://www.inch-awe...tread_da_manual.htm
Manual Treadmill [XSarenkaX, Oct 01 2002, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Here's another one http://shop.store.y...n/protfolmantr.html
Manual Treadmill [XSarenkaX, Oct 01 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Scale this up http://www.petsmart.../product_6207.shtml
Can't fall off back, could get leg caught between rungs and horribly broken though [Zircon, Oct 01 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Mountain Bike Treadmill http://www.halfbake..._20Bike_20Treadmill
the same type of problems discussed here [FarmerJohn, Oct 01 2002, last modified Oct 05 2004]

The Springwalker http://www.springwalker.com/
Weird exoskeleton walking machine. Cool. [Wes, Oct 01 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]


       Arent' there treadmills that aren't powered out there?
XSarenkaX, Oct 01 2002

       Link linky link-link, but also I know what you mean. <Beavis and Butthead nostalgia>"muhuhuhuh, warp factor six Mr Sulu!"</Beavis and Butthead nostalgia>"
Zircon, Oct 01 2002

       XSX: Eh? I'm not inventing the running machine. I'm not inventing the powered running machine. I'm suggenting an improved powered running machine that will be easier to use.   

       Zirc: Priceless. That would be even better. Might have to raise the ceiling of the gym, though.
st3f, Oct 01 2002

       one way to avoid falling off the back of them would be to have them embedded into the floor of the gym - however, this might be more dangerous, since as you slipped to the back your foot would still meet the stationary floor at the same speed difference, and a lack of height might stop the projectile element of the falling (which, ironically, must afford some sort of protection to those who end up falling off the back of these things, and I've never actually seen it happen but I suppose it must do, now and then)..
So of course as I visualised this, I thought about how to embed the running machine belt into the floor, and have only the console panel raised - then it occurred to me that you could have a 'running room', which is full of standard sized running machine belts embedded into the floor as close together as possible without actually touching, and the consoles on stretchy coiled cables hanging from the ceiling, perhaps like trapezes, so that you can hold onto the bar (if you like that sort of thing for balance, or for the heart rate monitor). Whenever you are drifting left, right, or indeed backwards, using the foot pressure sensors the belt does not slow down but it starts up the one behind you, at the same speed, (or slightly slower, to encourage you to get back towards your original one). If you are going too fast, i.e. off the front, you could go to the belt ahead of you but then you might reach the wall, so in this case the program should just increase the speed of the one you're on. So we end up with a vision of a room of people gracefully running (and getting nowhere) but doing a slow synchronised pattern of movement around each other, something like a Pavane? This probably should be done in defined sessions, otherwise someone starting when the rest of the runners are in the middle of their workout would have to start in the corner of the room and get up to speed before joining the main floor area. You couldn't just walk out into the middle - all the belts would think you were running, and would start up the motors of the ones around them, and there would be an awful mess of people falling over etc....
lewisgirl, Oct 01 2002

       good lord woman, get some work done, that ground water's not going to test it's elf you know.   

       Also I'd like to suggest a bouncy-castle behind running machine, to make st3f ejection a happier experiance and something to be looked forward to with glee.   

       Glee is an under used word. We should all try to use it more. And yet again, bouncy castles; is there anything they can't do?
Zircon, Oct 01 2002

       good lord man, get some work done, that non-interactive tutorial movie's not going to create it's elf you know.

you can eat your words at 6.30 tomorrow morning when I'm setting out to get to some cesspit in Wolverhampton to stand in a puddle of TCB.
lewisgirl, Oct 01 2002

       If I may interject, lewisgirl, you should have a wide, circular treadmill, like a baggage carousel, moving at an average speed with sprinters moving forward and joggers moving backwards.
FarmerJohn, Oct 01 2002

       Great roller-drama, Batman! If Hy-jinx has his evil way, he'll have a monopoly on orthopaedic care and he'll “walk” out of here while his victims are still too dizzy to care!
reensure, Oct 01 2002

       [lg] touché. Oh and is IBD down?, I can't sign in to it.   

       [FJ] wouldn't a circular treadmill be rather like running in circles with-out getting dizzy? sounds like a quick way to non-axial ankle strain.   

       [reensure] I'm in an odd mood today, now I have a craving to watch Adam West Batman. Damn you!
Zircon, Oct 01 2002


       I was hoping it would turn out as something like the baked link "Springwalker". That thing looks cool!
Wes, Oct 01 2002

       ZrSiO4: Ah yes, maybe a hollow C shape then. Or every five minutes, everybody turns around and moon walks.
FarmerJohn, Oct 01 2002


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