Skip to main content

World's First Two-Legged Robot-Only Marathon Set for Feb. 24 (updated with video)

http://sankei.jp.msn.com/science/news/110216/scn11021612430002-n1.htm

translated by Brett Larner

Click photo for a slideshow of the robot marathoners in action.

The world's first full marathon exclusively for two-legged robots is scheduled to begin Feb. 24 in Osaka. Aiming both to raise the science behind bipedal robotics to the point that one is capable of completing 42.195 km and to help generate popular support for October's first running of the Osaka Marathon, the Osaka Metropolitan Government-sponsored race unveiled its upcoming participants at a special event at Osaka's Asia Pacific Trade Center on Feb. 16. Five teams from local companies and universities have submitted robots to the competition.



The Robot Marathon will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Feb. 24. Robots must cover 422 laps of a 100 m loop course inside the Trade Center within a time limit of four days and, apart from time off for battery changes and on-the-fly maintenance, will run nonstop. In a special demonstration at the unveiling event on Feb. 16 a lead camera showed the robots in action, some running lightly and easily and others laboring with heavy, unsteady legs. A representative of the Metropolitan Government commented, "We hope this helps to stimulate interest in Osaka-based manufacturing."

Comments

Scott Brown said…
It's bad enough that Robots are taking our jobs, now they want our hobbies!

Still, if there is anything mindless androids would be good at it's the marathon ;)

On the bright side, they will make us feel a little better about our stride and running form!
Brett Larner said…
I'd have to go with 100 km.
Z said…
This is only possible in Japan, the marathon-craziest nation in the world!

Most-Read This Week

Kazami Breaks 100 km World Record at Lake Saroma

Running on the same course where Japan's Takahiro Sunada set the road 100 km world record of 6:13:33 twenty years ago, 2:17:23 marathoner Nao Kazamibested a deep and competitive field to win the Lake Saroma 100 km Ultramarathon in a world record 6:09:14.

Part of a front group of at least five that went through the marathon split in 2:33:36, on pace for 6:04:01, Kazami lost touch with the lead as rivals Koji Hayasaka and Takehiko Gyoba surged just before halfway to open a roughly 30 second lead that lasted until nearly 75 km. But in the last quarter of the race Kazami, a graduate of Hakone Ekiden powerhouse Komazawa University, was the only one who could sustain anything close to the early pace, overtaking Hayasaka and Gyoba before pulling away to open a lead of over 11 minutes. Kazami's mark took more than 4 minutes off the world record, and he also bettered the 100 km track world record of 6:10:20 set in 1978 well before he was born by the late Don Ritchie.
Trying to stay wi…

Tanaka and Hashioka Win Gold - World U20 Championships Day Two Japanese Results

Working together to execute an aggressive frontrunning team strategy born from failure two years ago in Bydgoszcz, 2018 Asian U20 3000 m gold medalist Nozomi Tanaka and 2018 Asian Junior Cross Country gold medalist Yuna Wada opened a massive lead over the African Junior Cross Country medalist Ethiopian duo of Meselu Berhe and Tsige Gebreselama in the early going of the Tampere World U20 Championships women's 3000 m. Tanaka took the lead from the gun before Wada went out front at 200 m to set a fast pace. Through splits of 3:00 and 3:03 for the first 2000 m, Tanaka kicked hard from 300 m out to close with a 2:51 for Japan's first-ever gold medal in the event, winning in a PB of 8:54.01.

Berhe and Gebreselama caught Wada on the back corner but weren't even close to matching Tanaka, taking 2nd and 3rd in PBs just under the 9-minute mark. Wada just held off Kenyan Jenali Jemutai Yego for 4th in 9:00.50, seeming happy in post-race interviews to have helped a teammate score gol…

Kamulu Runs 10000 m World Lead, Ahn Breaks Korean National Record, Tamura Clears 28 Minutes, Niiya Back on Track in Fukagawa

National records fell for the third meet in a row in the four-part Hokuren Distance Challenge series Wednesday in Fukagawa, Hokkaido. Longtime Japan resident Pauline Kamulu (Route Inn Hotels) had a shockingly good run in the women's 10000 m A-heat, following up her 1:06:56 bronze medal run at the Valencia World Half Marathon Championships by lopping over a minute off her 10000 m best with a 2018 world-leading time of 30:41.85.

Kamulu lapped the entire field, her nearest competitor Honami Maeda (Tenmaya) returning from a 2:23:46 marathon PB in Osaka in January to take 30 seconds off her own best in 32:13.87. Further back, Seul Ki Ahn broke the South Korean national record set 13 years ago in Fukagawa with a new mark of 32:33.61. Ahn's NR followed the 2:25:41 NR set by Do Yeon Kim at the Seoul International Marathon in March, a miniature renaissance in South Korea women's distance running.

The men's 10000 m A-heat was also decently fast, Andrew Lorot (Subaru) leading fo…