Robot marathon kicks off in Japan

2011-02-24 11:36

Tokyo - The world's first full-length marathon for two-legged robots kicked off in Japan on Thursday, with the toy-sized humanoids were due to run 42.195km over four days.

The machines began the non-stop race on a 100m indoor track in the western city of Osaka after doing knee bends or raising their hands to greet spectators.

The bipedal robots - the tallest of which measures 44cm - must complete 423 laps to reach their goal.

The "Robo Mara Full" race is organised by Vstone Co, a robot technology firm based in the western industrial city, in co-operation with the Osaka prefectural government.

Competitors are allowed to change batteries and the so-called servomotors which control the robots' speed and other functions.

Robovie-PC from Vstone led the race at the start. Video footage from a camera in its head can be seen at here.