RoboMara 2011: Autonomous bot wins marathon by a nose
By Rick Martin
February 26, 2011
The RoboMara or robot marathon has just come to a close in Osaka Japan, with a pair of bipedal bots battling it out in surprisingly close dash to the finish. After 422 laps of a 100-meter track, two robots found themselves only inches apart as coming out of the final turn.
The Vstone team took first place, with an autonomous robot very literally walking a thin red line to victory thanks to a head-mounted camera, finishing with time of 54 hours, 57 minutes, 50.26 seconds. Seeing as how this is the very first robot marathon, I guess that makes it a world record time too. In second place not two seconds behind was the Robot Center team, with a remote-controlled model clocking in at 54 hours, 57 minutes, 51.99 seconds.
Both robots were good sports however, as they posed for the media just past the finish line and struck sexy poses in front of a flurry of flash bulbs.
The event organizers have yet to upload footage of the finish, but we'll be sure to update you when it's online. Update: Thanks to Angelica in the comments for providing a clip of the finish. For now, check out this clip from the start of the race a couple of days ago. It's pretty much indicative of how the whole thing played out.
Now that robots have successfully run a marathon, we can't help but wonder what might be next for these miniature mechanical wonders. Hurdles perhaps? Maybe an ironman competition? Better start water-proofing!
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