Thursday, August 9, 2012

Remote-controlled Mini Coopers that retrieve track and field equipment a big hit at Olympics

The London Games are using remote-controlled Mini Coopers to shuttle track and field equipment— like javelins, discuses, hammers and shots— back to the throwing area after they are hurled by the competitors.  Even dropped relay batons are getting the V.I.P. treatment.

The fleet of three miniature cars are a big hit at the Olympics and work harder than the teen aged volunteers who control them.  The little cars run in four hour shifts and travel up to four miles a day carrying a single discus, hammer, shot and up to two javelins back to where they were tossed from.

But are they a violation of the IOC's ban on advertising?  Corporate branding is banned from athletes uniforms or on the field of play and these BMW replicas are getting a lot of screen time.

Even if the cars don't have a logo, critics claim the bright colors and novelty of them is blatant advertising.

Similar gadgets have been used before in previous Olympics but I think the problem with these blue and orange Minis is that they are so cute— even more than the real-size versions.  Who hasn't stared at one of the little buggies stuck between a couple of gas guzzling SUVs while in traffic and smiled?

It's a victory for the little, little guy.

Can't wait for the first innovative joy-sticker to use the four-wheeled butler to bring him a Red Bull from the snack bar.

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