Humanoid robot as personal trainer, a new goal of Artificial Intelligence

Some news is surprising but, at the same time, it does not come completely unexpected, especially when it’s coming from artificial intelligence. Every time AI presents an innovation, a second after we marvel at it, we already wonder what the next step will be in advanced technology. In fact, it seems that this field is limitless, and the idea of ​​being able to produce machinery capable of carrying out jobs that seem possible only to humans is a little frightening.

This time, artificial intelligence has proposed us not a simple machine, but a real humanoid robot capable of being a personal trainer, therefore able to follow a person’s training session (both sports and bodyweight). The invention is entirely Italian, since the software and – in part – the hardware are the result of the multidisciplinary project “AI empowered for fitness applications” by the students of the Alta Scuola Politecnica of the Milan and Turin Polytechnics, coordinated by Professor Barbara Caputo (PoliTo).

The work was carried out using the Pepper robot, the first humanoid robot capable of perceiving the main emotions, such as joy, sadness, anger and surprise, adapting its behavior to the mood of the human being with whom it interacts.

The project to implement Pepper’s functions was developed as part of the Pioneer entrepreneurial program of the School of Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Turin and made use of the collaboration of Reply (a network model of companies that deals, among other things, also of artificial intelligence).

The result of this work is a humanoid robot capable of carrying out the work of a personal trainer, as they have implemented features such as the repetition count, error correction and even the display of previous performances. As mentioned, Pepper is able to follow workouts with both tools and bodyweight. And we know that in bodyweight are much more likely to make mistakes, so the help of a personal trainer becomes essential to perform the exercise correctly, obtain good results and avoid physical injuries. 

Here Pepper can intervene, using advanced artificial intelligence algorithms to monitor the positions of the human body. A robot that could prove to be very useful and demanded not only in the gym, but also and above all at home, for home fitness. For this reason, some members of the team, who have now acquired the know-how during the project, founded the startup Gymnasio, so as to enter the home fitness market, which has recently been continuously expanding.

It is not surprising that the Italian personal trainer robot project was considered one of the best of the 15th cycle of the ASP (Alta Scuola Politecnica) and we can’t wait to see Pepper in action as our coach.

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