Japanese researchers hold robot marathon.
by New Scientist:
Japanese researchers are about to fire the starting pistol tomorrow on one of the oddest events in the sporting calendar: the robot marathon. Five robots have been entered into the race in which they must complete 422 laps around a 100-metre indoor track in Osaka to finish the full-length marathon.
(Image: Vstone Co./AP/PA)
All the entrants must be able to walk on two legs and are allowed to stop for repairs and to change their battery – although the race marshals will count minutes wasted doing running repairs in the overall race time.
Samuel Wanjiru, the current Olympic marathon champion, shouldn’t worry too much about his crown being snatched, however. The event’s organisers expect the race to last four days, ending on the same day that human competitors take part in the Tokyo marathon.
The “race” is being sponsored by Japanese robotics firm Vstone who also sponsor a team in the RoboCup – a competition for football-playing robots. A live stream of the race (perhaps one more for dipping in and out of rather than watching every minute) is due to be available on the firm’s website. But, just like the real thing, the race is likely to be won not just by the fastest robot, but the one that can best survive the wear and tear of 26 miles of continuous movement.
[Insert scary robot apocalypse joke here].