As we witnessed at the DARPA Robotics Challenge Finals, walking isn’t easy for robots.
But for the Chinese robot Xingzhe No.1, walking is the oldest trick in the book – the Guinness World Record book, that is. Xingzhe No. 1 recently walked for 54 straight hours, taking 360,000 steps that covered 83.28 miles, setting the world record for furthest distance walked by a quadruped robot.
And it did this all on a single charge. In fact, it could have walked even further had the battery not died.
Now to be fair, Xingzhe No. 1 doesn’t appear to be as top-heavy or complicated as the DRC robots. And Xingzhe No. 1 walked around a flat track at an indoor gymnasium, there was no obstacle course for it to tackle. But to put things in perspective, the previous walking record for a quadruped robot was set in 2011 by Cornell University’s Ranger robot, which covered just more than 40 miles in 30 hours. Xingzhe No. 1 used some of the design concepts from Ranger, so kudos to Cornell.
Xingzhe No. 1 more than doubled the previous record, quite impressive. Xingzhe No. 1, which actually translates to “walker,” was developed by a team led by Professor Li Qingdu from the College of Automation of Chongqing University of Posts and Telecommunications. However, Qingdu says the idea behind the project isn’t to help robots walk better, but it’s to study electrical efficiency and increase the robot’s reliability.
“We can apply the technology and processes involved to a wide range of robotic devices, to make them more efficient, durable and reliable,” Qingdue says. “In the future we could begin to use these robots for dangerous or remote tasks.”
Check out Xingzhe No. 1 walking in the video below.