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: An android opera: Japan's Shibuya plots new era of robot music

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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.