While it looks more like a toaster with legs than Usain Bolt [? – JRD], Cornell University’s Ranger robot has set some track records all the same. On July 6, Ranger set a world record for untethered robotic walking, traveling 14.3 miles in only 11 hours.
Guided by students with a remote control, Ranger navigated 108.5 times around the Barton Hall indoor track, about 212 meters per lap, and made about 70,000 steps before it had to stop and recharge. The 14.3-mile record beats the former world record set by Boston Dynamics’ BigDog, which had claimed the record at 12.8 miles. – TechNewsDaily
I don’t mean to harsh on Cornell’s buzz, but implying this little R2D2-on-stairs robot is somehow a direct competitor with the BigDog is like trying to face Huey, Dewey, or Louie – from Silent Running – off against Optimus Prime. I mean, sure, they can all do light housework, but you know who you’re going to turn to when you need some long-haul trucking done.
Better yet, none of this is the most interesting robot item I’ve had to consider today:
Somewhere in the design of this automaton is a partnership with the Dyson vacuum people.