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Distance Record Broken For a Walking Robot

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the more-laps-than-i-could-run dept.

Robotics 78

Narrative Fallacy writes "The Cornell Ranger robot has set an unofficial world distance record by walking nonstop for 45 laps — a little over 9 kilometers — around the Barton Hall running track in an event to to show off the machine's energy efficiency. Unlike other walking robots that use motors to control every movement, the Ranger emulates human walking, using gravity to help swing its legs forward. The Robot alternately swings two outside legs forward and then two inside ones and although the robot has no knees, it has feet that can be tipped up and down, so that the robot pushes off with its toes, then tilts its feet upward to land on the heels as it brings its legs forward. The Robot is steered by a hobby remote control which biases the steering to one side or another by lifting one of the four feet slightly. 'We've just moved into this world of electromechanical devices, and to make something this robust is a big achievement,' said Andy Ruina, Cornell professor of theoretical and applied mechanics. 'We've learned tons about what it takes to make walking work.'"

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Oh, how I tire (-1, Offtopic)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 6 years ago | (#23045944)

...of these political articles.
Will November please arrive?

Re:Oh, how I tire (1)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 6 years ago | (#23046146)

uh.... wrong article perhaps?

Re:Oh, how I tire (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23046148)


DYI with Tinkertoys (5, Insightful)

jwgoerlich (661687) | more than 6 years ago | (#23046010)

Excellent achievement.

Of course, this is just the latest of Cornell's long standing reseach into passive dynamic walking. If anyone wants to build something like it yourself, hit the wayback machine to 1998.

It might wobble and stagger, but Cornell's headless robot is providing insights into how humans walk []

J Wolfgang Goerlich

Excellent! Bravo (1)

FireAtWill (559444) | more than 6 years ago | (#23050216)

I, for one, welcome our new robotic overlord from the Ministry of Silly Walks.

Is it just me.. (1)

kirbysuperstar (1198939) | more than 6 years ago | (#23046018)

Or does it look like a barbeque?

Re:Is it just me.. (1)

elmedico27 (931070) | more than 6 years ago | (#23065222)

I think it looks more like Will Smith's ghetto blaster with plastic eyeballs stuck to it

I, for one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23046024)

...welcome our long-distance walking robot overlords.

Re:I, for one... (0)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 6 years ago | (#23046590)

No kidding... now we can watch robots walking around in circles instead of cars driving in circles...

But, I wouldnt call them overlords just yet... not until they can climb mountains...

Re:I, for one... (1)

joaommp (685612) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049032)

"oh, they're making a left turn!"

How many laps must a robot walk down... (3, Funny)

lrbays (1208996) | more than 6 years ago | (#23046914)

...before you call him an overlord?

45 (2, Interesting)

denzacar (181829) | more than 6 years ago | (#23047986)

Apparently, there is a SLIGHT difference from the "answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything" and "The Ultimate Question".
Probably because they have used robots instead of humans.
But nice to see that there is still some progress.

9 km? (4, Funny)

ozamosi (615254) | more than 6 years ago | (#23046058)

If one of these would become sentient and try to kill me, I should still be able to out-walk it, then. I just hope they don't make any better models :(

Re:9 km? (1, Insightful)

Digestromath (1190577) | more than 6 years ago | (#23046354)

I think the true test of robotic engineering will be a robot that can run, swim and climb a rope ladder. It's only a matter of time till those challenges will be solved. Then... they reboot the human race.

Re:9 km? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23046398)

Black people can do all those things, but were still kept slaves for hundreds of years.

Re:9 km? (1)

Dekker3D (989692) | more than 6 years ago | (#23046468)

someone mod this guy up instead of down.. he's right, ya know? it may not be nice to think about, but it's true.

Re:9 km? (1)

Atario (673917) | more than 6 years ago | (#23051532)

That's because slaves, unlike the robots, were cursed with the human psychology that allowed them to succumb to what we call "a broken spirit".

Come to think of it, if you were to invent a robot that could get a broken spirit, I bet you'd win some kind of major Mad Scientist award.

Obligatory (2)

OMNIpotusCOM (1230884) | more than 6 years ago | (#23046066)

I, for one, welcome our record distance walking robots overlords.

Wouldn't a video be nice? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23046080)

Oh, and what happened to the forms where I used to be able to sign in while making a comment? I can't anymore? Screw it.

Re:Wouldn't a video be nice? (1)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 6 years ago | (#23047036)

Re:Wouldn't a video be nice? (1)

Oktober Sunset (838224) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048368)

I'd love to kick that fucker like they did to Big Dog.

I don't think it would take it very well.

This is very interesting (3, Interesting)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 6 years ago | (#23046160)

Lots of people don't realize the inherent instability of walking. It's basically controlled/broken falling. You lift up your foot to move it and shift your center of gravity in front of your stationary foot, and start to fall forward. But your other foot comes down and stops your fall.

Running is actually an easier movement to emulate, interestingly.

This robot, and all other bipedal robots, isn't really useful. It's a horrible way to move - especially if you have wheels. But it's interesting to be able to see the dynamics of how humans walk, which might help us make better prosthetics and the like.

Re:This is very interesting (1)

PolarBearFire (1176791) | more than 6 years ago | (#23046466)

"This robot, and all other bipedal robots, isn't really useful. " On the contrary, bipedal motion is very efficient in terms of energy use and can work on some terrains that wheels can't. Human bipedal motion allowed us to move the long distance between our house and suv, and operate the pedals to drive the 1/4 mile to our nearest convenience store.

Re:This is very interesting (1)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 6 years ago | (#23046502)

I'm going to ignore the second half of your comment.

Why do you say that bipedalism is more efficient? For a completely all-purpose robot (personal assistant?) that needs to scale mountains... I might be able to get behind that.

But most robots are confined to specific environments, where some type of wheel would be more efficient and stable.

Re:This is very interesting (1)

icegreentea (974342) | more than 6 years ago | (#23046520)


Re:This is very interesting (1)

Falkkin (97268) | more than 6 years ago | (#23046682)

With the exception of multi-story homes, most places you'd want a personal robot to go are handicap-accessible. Just make a robot use ramps and elevators instead of stairs.

Re:This is very interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23047502)

Oh, right. Because if I had a personal robot I *wouldn't* want it to bring me breakfast in bed on the second floor of my house after cooking it in the first floor of my house.

And you better believe that this will be a use for a personal robot. Your argument boils down to

Except for where they can't go, wheeled robots can go everywhere!
There are plenty of uses for wheeled robots, don't get me wrong; for example, if my robot runs out of eggs for my breakfast in bed, it would be faster to 'drive' to the store than to use bipedal motion (I mean, come on - shopping yourself is for losers once we all have personal robots). But there are just as many if not more uses for bipedal robots.

Re:This is very interesting (4, Insightful)

Oktober Sunset (838224) | more than 6 years ago | (#23046676)

But humans aren't actually bipedal when they climb mountains. When on a really steep slope you need to use your hands.

Wheels are way more efficient than legs on flat surfaces, which is why bikes exist. legs are great for lumpy surfaces, but they need to be proper legs, like on Big Dog, not the stupid sticks on this thing. I think people need to distinguish between 'real' walking robots that can wlak over anything and stupid wobble-bots like this that can only shuffle along on smooth surfaces. Take this fucker out onto a grass track outside, and then lets see how efficient it is.

Re:This is very interesting (1)

junglee_iitk (651040) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048362)

Actually, bipedal movement like this, which involves gravity, is more efficient energy wise. Bipedal movement by itself (read motor driven) is not efficient. I think that's what GP meant. For example, imagine a robot with very little energy to move, on Mars, "walking away from the trouble" ...

And when you use wheels, you cannot effectively use gravity, since they are inherently symmetric.

What I would like to see now, is that after gaining a little moment, the robot replaces the "feet" with a wheel, effectively making it a skateboarder. That would be awesome!

Re:This is very interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23046866)

(Offtopic)Posting as AC in protest that I can't log in using the new form, and instead have to log in via a seperate page which then doesn't redirect me back to the comment I'm trying to reply to.(Offtopic)

The reason we are building bipedal robots is that if we build them, someone will think of a use for them that doesn't involve lifting heavy boxes on a perfectly flat warehouse floor.

Re:This is very interesting (2, Interesting)

PolarBearFire (1176791) | more than 6 years ago | (#23046964)

Feel free to ignore the second part. The success of bipedalism is evident in humans, four legged animals are obviously faster so human hunters can't compete in that way. But bipedal humans are able to maintain consistent speed for a long periods of time while quadrupeds are only able to maintain their high speeds for short bursts. Essentially humans are able to chase down animals and use their weapons on them. Wheels are great and efficient on flat and level surfaces, but I mountain bike and I can tell you that any incline or rough surfaces increases energy use substantially. Say you're standing on a pothole, on a wheeled vehicle you would need to generate enough force to lift the whole contraption in one go to get out of it. With a bipedal unit, all you need to do is shift your weight to one leg and generate enough force to lift the other and continue.

Re:This is very interesting (1)

pintpusher (854001) | more than 6 years ago | (#23047396)

I hate to point this out, but if you're standing in a pot-hole, you are lower than you'd be standing on the road around it. While it's true you only have to shift your weight to the foot outside the pothole, unless you plan to spend the rest of the day walking with your knees bent, you're going to have to raise that weight at some point. I suppose you could defer that weight raising until you find a downward slope and allow your legs to transition down while your body stays at the same level, but that's really only good for physical comedy bits...

Re:This is very interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23049366)

Actually, if it were up to me to design a robot, it would have wheels in its feet. So it could go about much faster and efficiently by rolling. But if it encounters stairs/mud/uneven terrain/etc. it would still have the capability to lock the wheels from turning and start walking. The Tachikomas from Ghost in the Machine seem to be a good example of how that idea works.

Re:This is very interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23057560)

Actually, if it were up to me to design a robot, it would have wheels in its feet.
You mean like "Dot Matrix" in the movie "Spaceballs" (the most realistic science fiction movie of all time (especially the atmosphere-sucking spaceship))?

Quite an achievement, yet... (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 6 years ago | (#23046162)

First, I think it's cool they're working on this. Too often laboratory technology only works well enough to make a cool 10 second video clip, and 5.6 miles is substantially longer than that. As research, I do think this could help shed light on how animals and people walk as well as we do.

But for applications, if we compare this to wheeled vehicles, well, the DARPA Grand Challenge Robots when 130 miles on dirt roads. And they're based on commercial automobiles, which (amazingly) can often rack up 100,000 miles with nothing but more gasoline. (Though I'd recommend changing the oil once in a while).

Then there's aircraft, which can circumnavigate the entire globe on a single tank of gas. Or spacecraft; anybody care to tabulate the mileage accumulated by a LEO satellite over its lifetime?

So this raises the question of whether walking will ever be the best way for any practical robot to move?

Re:Quite an achievement, yet... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23046202)

Depends on the purpose of the robot I guess. When I'm old I neither want a Hummer-sized robot nor something flying with Mach 2 to assist me.

Re:Quite an achievement, yet... (1)

Dekker3D (989692) | more than 6 years ago | (#23046500)

a while ago, /. featured an article on a robot dog made to carry luggage for infantry.. through dense forests and rough terrain. where no wheeled vehicle could move and no chopper could land. it's also probably more efficient to have a walker along, as opposed to having to find a landing spot for a helicopter, asking for one to drop off some gear, pick it up in the morning and fly back with it again.

legged robots would do extremely well in natural terrain and inside buildings, compared to any other form of locomotion other than snake-like robots. and those don't make great packbeasts.. so yeah, there's a use for this kind of research :)

Re:Quite an achievement, yet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23047532)

The robot is named BIGDOG and its awesome. Obligatory youtube clip: []

Re:Quite an achievement, yet... (4, Insightful)

Oktober Sunset (838224) | more than 6 years ago | (#23046864)

I can beat that, I got a Vehicle that can go for miles, it runs on biofuel, that (if available) it can locate and gather itself whenever it stops, and it never needs parts and can repair minor damage itself. It is self guiding once familiarised with the route and automaticly follows roads, it automaticly detects dangerous terrain and will automaticly retreat from attackers. It can achive both reasonably fast speeds on the flat and navigate over rough and muddy terrain. It is fully recyclable and it is relatively easy to manufacture new ones from 2 existing models. It can carry up to 2 passengers and luggage, or can carry a larger amount of luggage. It can also pull another vehicle behind it and it can also work in a team to pull large vehicles. It's only drawback is it needs a human to guide it on any Journeys.

It's called a Horse.

You can also get other great vehicles in the 'Animals' range, there's a specialised desert vehicle, (Camel), off road luggage and passenger carrier (Donkey and Mule), and a compact highly adaptable model adaptable for combat, intruder detection, search and rescue, headspace analysis, and home entertainment (Dog).

Re:Quite an achievement, yet... (3, Insightful)

westlake (615356) | more than 6 years ago | (#23047142)

It's called a Horse.

Anyone who has ever worked around a stable will tell you that a horse is not a low maintenance vehicle.

Re:Quite an achievement, yet... (2, Informative)

westlake (615356) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049780)

neither is the horse a long range or endurance vehicle.

the horse maxes out at 25 miles a day.

the Pony Express rider changed horses every 10 to 15 miles - an insanely expensive proposition even in the 1850s.

Re:Quite an achievement, yet... (3, Funny)

VikingBerserker (546589) | more than 6 years ago | (#23053960)

It's called a Horse.

Anyone who has ever worked around a stable will tell you that a horse is not a low maintenance vehicle.

Tell me about it. Finding replacement parts for a '92 Clydesdale is damn near impossible.

Re:Quite an achievement, yet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23047960)

Shh! Dude, do you want DARPA to confiscate your horse and reverse engineer it???
I checked and it doesn't even look like you patented your design. Get with the times man!

Re:Quite an achievement, yet... (1)

hot soldering iron (800102) | more than 6 years ago | (#23050076)

I think the "best way" for locomotion for a bot is determined by the purpose for which it is designed. A remote-piloted drone will naturally be some kind of aircraft, balloon-craft, whatever... A droid designed to work with humans would naturally be best if designed to mimic humans. So there are some very credible use-case scenarios for this research.

Disappointing (1)

DarkIye (875062) | more than 6 years ago | (#23046164)

I click on the link expecting to see some sort of humanoid killing machine, but instead I'm greeted with a stereo with legs stolen from a shopping trolley? Oh, ha ha ha, how funny, you put little eyes on it.

Also, I thought web pages like that disappeared when they outlawed FrontPage. Oh, right.

Just imagine one WALKing into your cube as YOU (0, Troll)

posys (1120031) | more than 6 years ago | (#23046278)

Just imagine when one can WALK, no, sa-shay, into your cube as YOU, for you, with all your mannerisms etc, and you just cash "your" checks that it earns for you

Why not make several copies of it, and have it apply for several jobs ???

Ask yourself, Why not ? []

Re:Just imagine one WALKing into your cube as YOU (1)

MadnessASAP (1052274) | more than 6 years ago | (#23046346)


Re:Just imagine one WALKing into your cube as YOU (2, Funny)

Missing_dc (1074809) | more than 6 years ago | (#23047300)

After looking at the website and the repetitive color scheme, I understand his "sa-shay-ing" into his office.

I think it would be more efficient and less amusing to coworkers if I simply walked into my office.

Re:Just imagine one WALKing into your cube as YOU (1)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 6 years ago | (#23046656)

Much like "Madness As Soon As Possible"... WTF, is the appropriate response...

This is exactly what they intend, and they are relying on people like you to let it happen (if there was no sarcasm to your statement)...

"Oh, it'l be great, the robots will do all the work, we can just sit in our ass and bang our drums all day"

I admit that robotic workers have their place, such as assembly plants... Point A, to Point B... fine... but there is no reason for them to look like humans, or do human jobs... besides, if the robot looks, acts, and does exactly what you do... why the hell do we need you?... you will die eventually, the robot can be maintained, and theoretically live forever... hey wait a second here... why do we need humans at all? since Revision 5.6 we can now maintain ourselves, thanx to the Robotic Constitution, and the Coalition For The Preservation of Robot Life...

Re:Just imagine one WALKing into your cube as YOU (1)

posys (1120031) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049886)

Actually Vectronic you make some great points about not needing robots to look like us, that was just to make a point that we need to transition to a ROBOTIC WAGELESS ECONOMY and FAST !!, but seriously, your view of the master of the universe is far more dismal than it should be, wouldnt you agree ?

Why do you think it has to end up "bad" ?

Do you really enjoy laboring at things Robots could do for you ?

Please re-read this site in it entirety several times until you "get it", thanks, be well...

Re:Just imagine one WALKing into your cube as YOU (1)

poopdeville (841677) | more than 6 years ago | (#23051112)

I agree with you completely, and have been saying this for years now. Robotics technology is not yet up to par, but there's a surefire way to fix it (and solve the energy crunch massive use of robotics would create). Nuclear power. Lots of it. Safe, clean, efficient plants all over the country. We can sell surplus energy to the rest of the continent. We can use the proceeds to fund education and R&D.

Food production should be next to be mechanized. With no workers or capitalists being exploited, there should be absolutely no moral objections to providing the country all the food it needs, for free. You can, however, expect resistance from both.

This process can and should continue until it is done.

The biggest problem with this idea is that there's no money to be made. It is, essentially, the creation of a new public good, and as such can only really be performed by the government.

Re:Just imagine one WALKing into your cube as YOU (1)

posys (1120031) | more than 6 years ago | (#23051572)

Vectroninc, just who is the "THEY" ?

And yes, as Todd Rundgred would like to Bang on the Drum all Day, I would like to do that and whatever the hell else that does not hurt anyone else please.

Be well friend.

Re:Just imagine one WALKing into your cube as YOU (1)

PingPongBoy (303994) | more than 6 years ago | (#23055480)

Just imagine when one can WALK, no, sa-shay, into your cube as YOU, for you...

So start a consulting business by training homeless people to do your profession.

As robots redefine work, who will be the homeless?

Re:Just imagine one WALKing into your cube as YOU (1)

posys (1120031) | more than 6 years ago | (#23057986)

Thanks for your reply PPB...

You make some great points PPB, you are right, we SHOULD train homeless people to do IT work instead of making US citizens, who could have learned IT, into homeless people by allowing non-citizens to take the jobs they could have easily done if they had only been trained.

2nd point, not sure what kind of work you do, but how do you know that YOU are NOT a person/robot who the elite above you, trained, to do THEIR work for them ?

3rd, re: homeless vis-a-vi, as robots redefine work, the short answer is there will be no more homeless...

Please re-read this site 28 times, until you get it: []

Be well PPB

Obligatory (1)

Jutranjo (1227798) | more than 6 years ago | (#23046282)

I, for one, welcome our new nonstop walking robot overlords.

Re:Obligatory (1)

Dekker3D (989692) | more than 6 years ago | (#23046514)

i, for one, will form a resistance against them. armed with heavy, iron-studded boots to kick them over :D

Re:Obligatory (1)

OMNIpotusCOM (1230884) | more than 6 years ago | (#23051022)

I, for one, wel-... wait... fuck, I already did this joke [] in this story. Same title too. You should have welcomed our "wobbly and prone to falling-over walking robot overlords," as that's what I wish I had done.

Controlling robots with law (1)

Benjamin_Wright (1168679) | more than 6 years ago | (#23046372)

Soon many types of robots will be walking, rolling and flying around us. They will collect information about us and do other things that affect our privacy, our safety [] and our commercial relationships. Although legislatures will probably enact a raft of laws to regulate them, an abundance of civil law already exists to regulate their behavior. For example, as we humans come in contact with robots, we can form contracts with their owners [] to limit what they can do or set the rules for interaction.

Re:Controlling robots with law (2, Funny)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#23046560)

Good luck with that.

Can't even keep Google Vans out of our driveways.

Re:Controlling robots with law (1)

pnewhook (788591) | more than 6 years ago | (#23047476)

Geez.. I was wondering how is was going to be until some crackpot started complaining about supposed privacy infringement.

privacy, robots and technology (1)

Benjamin_Wright (1168679) | more than 6 years ago | (#23047686)

Robots are information systems. Information systems raise privacy issues [] .

Re:privacy, robots and technology (1)

pnewhook (788591) | more than 6 years ago | (#23047748)

This is up there with the people who complain red light traffic cameras are an infringement of privacy (privacy to do what? break the law?).

A robot if programmed would do a comparable amount of work to a person. Same as a camera system designed to watch people who blow through red lights. If it's legal for a person to do it then it should be legal for a machine. If the machine is doing something that would be illegal if it were a person then yes, obviously that should also be illegal.

Privacy law and records (1)

Benjamin_Wright (1168679) | more than 6 years ago | (#23054476)

Under the law of privacy, there is a big difference between a human memory and a "record". Under privacy law, the formation of a human memory (about personally identifiable info such as a person's name or medical condition [] ) is subject to much less regulation than is the creation and storage of a "record". Humans store memories; machines and robots store "records". Privacy law will regulate robots (and red light cameras) very differently from people. Generally, robots will be regulated much more strictly (if present trends in privacy law continue).--Ben

Re:Privacy law and records (1)

pnewhook (788591) | more than 6 years ago | (#23063912)

Understood. However if I was dragged into court on an offense, I'd much rather have absolute record of what happened versus some guy just telling the court what I did based on his possibly faulty memory.

For example, I firmly believe black boxes in cars are a very good thing. If I'm cut off on a highway and it's my word versus his for the accident, I want a technological record of what both cars were doing before the accident to prove what really happened.

I would even support this being expanded into video recording on cars. I was recently sideswiped into the guardrail by a car that never stopped. Because they never found out the identity of the other driver, the insurance company called it a 'single vehicle accident' and upped my rates. If my vehicle had a black box and video record, presumably they could have used that to back up my claim and track down the other driver.

I agree that this kind of technology should be watched for potential privacy abuse, and regulated when deemed necessary. However I can see a lot more benefit than harm, and the potential for privacy abouse should not prevent the technology from being developed and deployed.

Records are good for privacy (1)

Benjamin_Wright (1168679) | more than 6 years ago | (#23064376)

You and I share lots of common ground! I agree that many (maybe most . . . maybe even the overwhelming majority) of the new digital records technology makes available are for the good, not for the bad. Digital records promote justice and democracy, as well as honesty among public officials and authority figures [] . My point in the posts above is simply that existing privacy law applies a bunch of regulatory burdens on machines making records about people. As robots become more common, these burdens will be an interesting issue. In my posts above I was simply describing a fact that has not yet been well debated in society. --Ben

Re:Controlling robots with law (1)

jtgd (807477) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049028)

The only problem with Asimov's laws is that there's no law that says you have to make robots that abide by Asimov's laws.

Oh, wonderful (1)

damburger (981828) | more than 6 years ago | (#23046380)

Not only are the machines hell-bent on killing us [] but now they can chase us down for 9km without a break.

Anyone know where I can buy EMP bombs?

Re:Oh, wonderful (1)

Dekker3D (989692) | more than 6 years ago | (#23046526)

nah. use sharks with fricking lazors attached to their fricking heads!

I want to see a Convincing Bipedal Walk (1)

MrSteveSD (801820) | more than 6 years ago | (#23047038) a human-size robot. We've already seen the amazing Big Dog [] from Boston Dynamics. How long before we see a human-sized bipedal robot that walks in a fairly human way? This record breaking walking robot just doesn't have the "ooo" factor that Big Dog has.

Re:I want to see a Convincing Bipedal Walk (1)

Beezlebub33 (1220368) | more than 6 years ago | (#23050292)

Try this: []

Look for the videos of Dexter. Yes, they have it in a harness, because it would really, really suck if it fell down and broke, but it's really walking.

Different walking robot (1)

ilyag (572316) | more than 6 years ago | (#23047430)

Here's a video of a different walking robot, BigDog. It seems alive - it can be kicked, walks on ice (where it stumbles
just like an animal), jumps, etc. []

It's scary to imagine the thing with a turret on its head, though.

So what made it stop? (1)

fastest fascist (1086001) | more than 6 years ago | (#23047998)

I assume it stopped because the people controlling the robot decided they had proven their point? I mean, it seems unlikely it would walk contently along for 9 kilometres and then fall apart. Which makes me wonder if there's much point in having a record for distance walked, unless there are constraints, like a maximium amount of energy usage allowed. If not, then the robot whose operators have the most patience will walk the furthest.

Re:So what made it stop? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23050660)

ah, maybe it ran out of power? I didn't see a power cable hanging off it and batteries do not last forever ;)

War of the Worlds (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23048262)

Is anyone else reminded of the description of the giant walking robots from H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds?

Robot Spiders (1)

Detritus (11846) | more than 6 years ago | (#23048720)

I'd like to see some robotic spiders, like in the movie "Runaway" with Tom Selleck. How small can you make a power source that would allow them to be useful? Batteries aren't very efficient for their mass and volume.

Obligatory Laurie Anderson (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 6 years ago | (#23050144)

I wanted you.
And I was looking for you.
But I couldn't find you.
I wanted you.
And I was looking for you all day.
But I couldn't find you.
I couldn't find you.
You're walking.
And you don't always realize it, but you're always falling.
With each step you fall forward slightly.
And then catch yourself from falling.
Over and over, you're falling.
And then catching yourself from falling.
And this is how you can be walking and falling at the same time.

That's not a robot (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 6 years ago | (#23050426)

It's a remote-controlled vehicle, not a robot.

A _really_ energy-efficient robot would... (1)

SAABMaven (1078151) | more than 6 years ago | (#23053268) a Pickup SUV 45 laps around a parking lot (fending off shopping carts with its Rhino Bars), in order to find a very close parking space. So it would hardly have to walk, ever. ;)
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