Home » Episode #481: Sid Raman Unveils Next-Level Treadmill Technology

Sid Raman is a structural engineer with over three decades of experience in the construction and building sector. His expertise took an innovative turn roughly seven years ago, as he delved into the niche of construction automation and robotics. Sid discovered a new-found excitement in the application of motors and controllers, and the fascinating overlap between the principles governing both construction machinery and robotic systems.

Host Pete Moore and Sid sit down to discuss the ground breaking, next-generation technology of treadmills and the futuristic vision behind it. Sid shares how his passion for trail running led him to create a treadmill that replicates outdoor experiences. They delve into the unique features of the treadmill, the business model behind it, and the potential impact on fitness and entertainment. 

On new technology, Sid states, "All these treadmills have one problem, and that is they do not go up and down quickly and fluidly. So our secret sauce is that we took a belt and board, which is a standard deck, but we introduced an element of engineering so the deck itself is inclining and declining without lifting the runner or walker on it . . . so you get the feeling that you are going uphill or downhill, and all of that is synchronized with what you're seeing on the big screen in front of you."

Key themes discussed

  • Engineer with 30 years experience who delves into robotics.
  • Frustration with existing treadmills led to innovation.
  • New location, prototype development, commercialization plan explained.
  • Creating immersive experiences, open platform for content.
  • Simplicity, affordability, and modular design for treadmills.
  • Wholesale code, product augmentation, health, recovery, entertainment.

A few key takeaways:

1. Sid saw an opportunity to revolutionize treadmill technology. He sought to address the lack of engagement and feedback in traditional treadmills, particularly for trail runners who found it challenging to replicate the outdoor experience on existing equipment.

2. Raman designed a treadmill that goes beyond traditional treadmills, which he refers to as a "running simulator." This innovative treadmill features an inclining and declining deck that simulates the feeling of running uphill and downhill, providing a more immersive and engaging experience. The deck's movement is synchronized with visuals on a screen, enhancing the feeling of outdoor running.

3. Raman emphasizes the simplicity and cost-effectiveness of the design. He utilized off-the-shelf components, making the treadmill more durable, easy to maintain, and cost-effective. Additionally, the modular design allows for easy upgrades, reducing the risk of obsolescence.

4. The treadmill is not just a fitness machine but a "theater of the mind" that aims to provide users with immersive and entertaining experiences. The machine offers engaging content, including virtual races and varied terrains, to make workouts more enjoyable and challenging. The goal is to make movement fun, engaging, and joyful while bringing communities together through fitness.

5. Raman has partnered with Ethan Blauner and Roger Harvey--both well-known fitness industry veterans--to integrate the advanced treadmill into their studio. By infusing gamification and entertainment elements into the workouts, they aim to attract a wider spectrum of individuals, reducing intimidation and making fitness more accessible and enjoyable.

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