Robot marathon kicks off in Japan (Update)

Feb 24, 2011
A humanoid robot named "Robovie-PC" (R) leads in a race against other robots during the world's first full-length marathon for two-legged robots, in Osaka.

The world's first full-length marathon for two-legged robots kicked off in Japan on Thursday, with the toy-sized humanoids were due to run 42.195 kilometres (26 miles) over four days.

The machines began the non-stop race on a 100-metre (109-yard) indoor track in the western city of Osaka after doing knee bends or raising their hands to greet spectators.

The bipedal robots -- the tallest of which measures 44 centimetres (17.6 inches) -- must complete 423 laps to reach their goal.

The "Robo Mara Full" race is organised by Vstone Co., a technology firm based in the western industrial city, in cooperation with the Osaka prefectural government.

Competitors are allowed to change batteries and the so-called servomotors which control the robots' speed and other functions.

Robovie-PC from Vstone led the race at the start. Video footage from a camera in its head can be seen at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/robovie-pc.

A wide view of the race can be seen live at here.

Explore further: Robots and dinosaurs as Japan holds 'Niconico' offline gala

Related Stories

Japanese solar car leads race Down Under

Oct 26, 2009

Japan's Tokai Challenger was on Monday leading a solar car race across the harsh Australian Outback, having covered about half of the 3,000 kilometre (1,860 mile) desert course, officials said.

Robots used to keep Japan's children safe

Feb 22, 2006

Getting children safely to and from school is seemingly no easy feat these days, and some local governments in Japan are prepared to make full use of available technology to ensure that students are kept safely out of harm's ...

Recommended for you

The potential for robots to perform human jobs

Apr 20, 2015

Here's a game to play over dinner. One person names a profession that they believe can't be taken over by a machine, and another person has to make a case why it's not so future-proof. We played this game ...

Developing a robotic therapist for children

Apr 20, 2015

In collaboration with other national institutions, researchers at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) are designing a new therapeutic tool for motor rehabilitation for children. In this project, an interactive ...

Automating logistics for the factory of the future

Apr 20, 2015

Mass production and packaging in factories is already highly automated these days, but the same cannot be said for logistics. Movements of raw materials and finished products still depend heavily on manual ...

Japan robot receptionist welcomes shoppers

Apr 20, 2015

She can smile, she can sing and this robot receptionist who started work in Tokyo on Monday never gets bored of welcoming customers to her upmarket shop.

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

panorama
not rated yet Feb 23, 2011
I'm not a gambling person at all, but for some reason I want to place a bet on this race.
Deadbolt
5 / 5 (1) Feb 24, 2011
Hmmm. They don't use dynamic balancing, do they?
If someone brings a robot that actually balances correctly it should stomp the ones you see here relying on programmed weight distribution type balancing, with big flat feet, and using rigid steps to move.

Of course, that's a question of how complex or expensive that is to do, but a mini version of PETMAN would probably win.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.