Panasonic's Evolta robot doesn't look like your typical top athlete. The little green and white guy can stand on the palm of your hand. He runs on rechargeable batteries.
The 7-inch-tall humanoid is also very ambitious. He is taking on Hawaii's famous Ironman Triathlon course, a competition that leaves many human athletes in the dust.
The athletic Evolta already climbed the Grand Canyon, survived 24 hours of Le Mans, and walked from Toyko to Kyoto. He will now swim, bike, and run for a total of more than 140 miles with a one-week time limit to cross the finish line.
Three specialized bodies powered by three AA batteries each are required to get through the event, which Panasonic conceived of to promote its Evolta line of rechargeable batteries. He'll be going day and night with breaks to recharge.
"Their biggest hurdle is the swim," Evolta developer Tomotaka Takahashi says in a press video. "They'll be swimming in the sea. There are huge waves, tides, and the wind on the ocean surface."
A forward-crawl swimming style was chosen to get the plucky little machine through the challenge. The swimming version of the bot is attached to flotation devices and has spinning arms for propulsion.… Read more