Design Engineering

Panasonic mini-robot to take on Kona

By Design Engineering Staff   

General Robotics

Three Evolta robots set to swim, bike and run the 230km of Hawaii’s famed Ironman triathalon course.

In a publicity stunt to promote the endurance of its rechargable batteries, Panasonic announced it’s Mr. Evolta mini-robot will attempt to swim, bike and run the 230km of Hawaii’s famed Ironman triathalon course. Standing only 20-inches tall, the anime-inspired robot is about one-tenth the size of the typical human triathelete, said robotisist and Mr. Evolta’s creator Tomotaka Takahashi, and should take approximately 10 times the amount of time (168 hours) to complete the course.

In total, three similar robots will tackle the long distance challenge on October 24, approximately two weeks after the official Ironman World Championship. The biking design, a version of which drove the Le Mans racetrack for 24 hours straight in 2009, will ride a small toy-like bicycle with training wheels, while the running robot walks within a hamster wheel for added stability. A similar Mr. Evolta walked 310 miles from Tokyo to Kyoto in 2010.

The swimming robot is a new design crafted for the ocean leg of the triathalon, which will present particular challenges. To help it traverse the waves and winds of the 2.4-mile swimming course, the robot has been fitted with a large fin and floats. The original Mr. Evolta climbed a 1,739 foot rope up the walls of the Grand Canyon in 2008.

Three AA rechargeable Evolta batteries power the robots which will have to be recharged repeatedly throughout the triathalon. Check out the video below for more details.



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