Runfun GmbH

"Be smart, run smart!"
RUFUS – Your Personal Running Coach


runfun is a startup company in the area of service robotics with a focus on sports and health. The company consists of a small team of engineers, product designers, and marketing professionals.

Our vision and mission is to explore how robotics technology at large can be used in the design of cyberphysical systems that can assist human users in their indoor and outdoor sport activities, either as mere companions or even as robotic fitness coaches. The main purpose of these devices is to assist users in recovering and improving their personal mobility, fitness, and health. We are currently developing and commercialising a robotic running coach named RUFUS as the first product in our family of fitness and health devices.


RUFUS is a novel fitness and health device that supports people in performing optimal outdoor walking or running workouts. RUFUS is an electrically powered, automatically guided, three-wheeled vehicle that drives ahead of the runner like a pace setter and sets the optimal velocity at which the runner should move. It does so by measuring the runnerfs heart rate through a monitor worn on the body; a controller then compares the measured heart rate to a set value and accelerates or decelerates the vehicle to minimize the difference.

Our unique selling proposition is that RUFUS avoids the usual disadvantages while combining the benefits of existing solutions like wearable fitness and health devices, human running coaches, and heart-rate controlled (consumer) treadmills. It
  • offers optimal outdoor running training through direct velocity control and feedback (no need for alarms warning the runner of mistakes),
  • reduces gtime to coachingh to minutes: the device is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week (→ lowers entry barriers for beginners),
  • offers customised, sophisticated running exercises and complete training programmes,
  • reaches an optimal training effect without overstraining the body.
RUFUS is capable of supporting users with sophisticated fitness programmes and conducting performance diagnostics during exercise. The device can thus be used in both preparing astronauts for their time in orbit and aiding their recovery from the effects of long]term exposure to zero gravity. In addition to this potential contribution to astronaut training and recreation, runfun and Locomotec (the company in which runfun has its roots) have maintained a business relationship in their work on SENSODRIVE . a spin-off of the German Aerospace Centerfs Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics. SENSODRIVE has received two contracts involving the development of a motor controller for the robotic running coach.

From space to industry

We are researching and developing devices on the basis of robotics technology to support people in the areas of rehabilitation and health.


Scheduled for incubation from 02/2015 until 01/2017
ESA BIC Bavaria - Oberpfaffenhofen

runfun GmbH
Friedrichshafenerstr. 1
82205 Gilching

General phone number: +49 (0) 821-4551590
Company website:

Dr. Erwin Prassler
+49 (0) 821-455 159-701

Sabine Oster
+49 (0) 821-455159-0