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: Telerobotics puts robot power at your fingertips

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

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

Samsung profit falls as smartphone sales slow

14 minutes ago

(AP)—Samsung Electronics Co. reported a bigger-than-expected fall in second quarter profit on Thursday and said it was uncertain if earnings from its handset business would improve in the current quarter.

Microsoft unveils Xbox in China as it faces probe

11 hours ago

Microsoft on Wednesday unveiled its Xbox game console in China, the first to enter the market after an official ban 14 years ago, even as it faces a Chinese government probe over business practices.

Teens love vacation selfies; adults, not so much

12 hours ago

(AP)—Jacquie Whitt's trip to the Galapagos with a group of teenagers was memorable not just for the scenery and wildlife, but also for the way the kids preserved their memories. It was, said Whitt, a "selfie ...

Tiny UAVs and hummingbirds are put to test

12 hours ago

Hummingbirds in nature exhibit expert engineering skills, the only birds capable of sustained hovering. A team from the US, British Columbia, and the Netherlands have completed tests to learn more about the ...

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.