Robots compete in Japanese marathon

Posted by Lydia Leavitt

A 26.2 mile marathon is the ultimate test of endurance for any athlete. But could the same be true for robots? Well, onlookers gathered to watch five humanoid two-legged 'bots put to the test as they raced a full marathon on a closed course in Osaka, Japan. 

The adorable toy-sized robots raced for two solid days until Vstone’s humanoid robot "Robovie-PC" beat out competitors by mere seconds. Pre-race, the tiny robots arrived to much fanfare as they did knee bends to warm up and waved to competitors before taking the course.

When the race started, the little robots chugged forward for two days straight until Robovie PC was able to claim victory in the world’s first 'bot marathon.

Sadly, not all the robots made it as far as Robovie-PC did, as one competitor was forced to quit after only the first lap.

All of the robots faced unthinkable obstacles during the race as they got tangled and fell, valiantly picking themselves up with their tiny mechanical arms.

One competitor pulled out after the first lap, but the others pushed on for days straight, picking themselves up after collisions and tripping while racing.

The champion, Robovie-PC, measured in at 16 inches tall, 5.3 pounds. Still, he wasn’t always in the first place, as his nemesis Robovie-PC Lite pushed ahead the first couple of laps.

The race then took an unfortunate turn as Robovie-PC Lite locked up, leaving the first place spot open for Robovie-PC to snag.

That doesn’t mean Robovie-PC Lite didn’t put up a valiant fight, as the tiny robot chased the leader for 54 hours, 57 minutes, and 50 seconds, only to lose to Robovie-PC by one single second.

Vstone Co. the robot technology firm that produced the winning and second place robots also organized the "Robo Mara Full" race.

Unfortunately for the other competitors, the marathon was clearly a landslide victory for the two Vstone bots.

(VIa AFP