He has scaled the steep cliffs of the Grand Canyon, raced the 24 hours of Le Man motorcycle endurance track in France and even, walked from Tokyo to Kyoto , a distance of 500km. Now Evolta, Panasonic's 7-inch Humanoid Robot is gearing up for his biggest challenge -The Ironman Triathlon Championship in Hawaii.
To compete in this grueling invite-only contest, the green & white robot which is small enough to fit on a human palm, will have to swim 2.4 miles in the choppy ocean, bike 112 miles across the hot Hawaiian lava desert and, run a full marathon distance of 26.2 miles in the excruciatingly hot weather.
Given that he is so tiny and powered by recharcheable Panasonic 'AA evolta' batteries, he will be allowed some leeway in the way he competes. For one, he will be starting the race on October 23rd, 2011, three weeks following the real event and, while human competitors have a maximum of 17-hours to complete the triathlon, Evolta will be given a full 7 days, during which his only 'breaks' will be to re-charge his batteries.
The biggest difference however, will be that unlike a single human body doing all three races, there will be three different 'Evolta' robot bodies competing - each built for the specific race. Evolta the swimmer, will be attached to flotation devices and be equipped with spinning arms for propulsion. Evolta the biker, will be on a little two-wheeler with training wheels, whilst Evolta the runner, will be affixed on what resembles a hamster wheel.
Despite all these advantages, the robot's creator Tomotaka Takahashi believes that the race will be a huge challenge - Not only will Evolta have to battle the wind and sun, but also, small road obstacles that humans just step over. The water will be even worse thanks to the strong waves, tides and ocean winds. But if he does complete it, Evolta will add another feather in his cap and just confirm the already well-known fact that Panasonic's re-chargeable Evolta batteries are indeed the 'world's longest-lasting AA cells'! Best of luck little fella!
Resources: Gizmag.com, cnet.com