Ranger robot breaks record, walks 23km on single charge

The robot walked for more than 10 hours before collapsing

It took 65,185 steps for Cornell's 4-legged bipedal robot to walk 108.5 laps on Barton Hall's 1/8-mile indoor track, setting a new world record for non-stop distance walked by an untethered legged robot - more than a half a marathon. Ranger took about 20,000 steps, over three miles, for each penny worth of electricity it used. Ranger was steered with a model-plane remote control. Commands from the remote control twist the inner pair of legs. The walking was entirely controlled by the 6 onboard microprocessors.

It took 65,185 steps for Cornell's 4-legged bipedal robot to walk 108.5 laps on Barton Hall's 1/8-mile indoor track, setting a new world record for non-stop distance walked by an untethered legged robot - more than a half a marathon. Ranger took about 20,000 steps, over three miles, for each ...

A team of students and faculty at Cornell University claim that their Ranger robot has set a new record for nonstop distance walked by an untethered, legged robot: 23 kilometers or 14.3 miles.To see video of the robot, click here.

The previous record was held by BigDog from Boston Dynamics, which walked 12.8 miles.

Andy Ruina is in charge of the university's Robotics and Biomechanics Lab and headed up the development team. He said that they've been working on Ranger for about four years and that it helps them understand the way people and animals work.

"You can't come up with solutions until you understand the problems," he said in a phone interview. The long-term benefit to research like his is overcoming diseases and building better prostheses, he said.

The robot took 65,185 steps over nearly 11 hours before running out of battery power and collapsing. It was powered by a 25.9 volt lithium ion battery and used 262 watt-hours of energy or about three cents worth during its run.

"Our next challenge is to make it walk much further. We think it can do a full marathon," Ruina said. (A full marathon is 26.2 miles.)

After that, he hopes to make a biped robot. He and his team are waiting on a grant from the National Science Foundation, but hope to develop a successful two-legged robot in the next two to three years. He admits that biped robots have already been created, but "none of them work well."

Ranger weighs 18.5 pounds or about 8.5 kilograms. It runs on six computers using mostly ARM7 processors with it's "main brain" using an ARM9 processor. It uses a variety of sensors and runs on about 10,000 lines of code, a few hundred of which are responsible for controlling the bot.

"We take pride in the simplicity of this robot," Ruina said.

Two days before the robot completed its record, it walked another 13 miles on one charge. While it doesn't count toward the record, that means the bot walked more than 27 miles without failure.

Nick Barber covers general technology news in both text and video for IDG News Service. E-mail him at Nick_Barber@idg.com and follow him on Twitter at @nickjb.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags popular sciencerobotics

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Nick Barber

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?