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Japan company offers ‘wearable tomatoes’ for runners

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
An employee from Kagome company displays the Tomatan in Tokyo, Japan, on February 19, 2015 (AFP photo).

A Japanese vegetable juice maker has invented a wearable tomato machine to help provide energy to runners ahead of the Tokyo Marathon this week.

On Thursday, the Japanese food company, Kagome, unveiled a small humanoid robot, dubbed the Tomatan, designed to sit on the user’s shoulders and deliver up to six mid-sized tomatoes to help combat fatigue.

The Tomatan starts working after the user tugs on a tiny lever located in the foot. An arm then catches a tomato from the dispensing shoot and delivers it to the front of the athlete’s mouth.

The eight-kilogram (18-pound) device will be demonstrated during a five-kilometer (three-mile) fun run on Saturday, Kagome said.

The food company has also designed another three-kilogram (six pound) version, dubbed the Petit-Tomatan, which has a mini-tomato holster and a timer to prevent the user from over-eating and depleting their supply too quickly.

A runner from the company will be wearing the lighter version in the Tokyo Marathon on Sunday.

“We are still at the developing stages, but the finalized product won’t be something simple which you could wear on the hands. It’s probably going to look more like a backpack,” a company spokesman said.

Tomatoes contain a high concentrate of water and are rich in beta-carotene as well as citric and amino acids.

The fruit also contains lycopene, a pigment believed to have beneficial health effects, including protecting the skin against harmful UV rays.


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