Striving to maintain its robotics leadership, Sony has moved ahead of the competition with a prototype robot that can jog like a human.
Sony has unveiled a new version of its Qrio robot (formerly known as SDR) that can jog at up to 14 meters per minute.
If the 58-centimeter robot were the size of a human, it would jog at 2.4 kilometers per hour.
While easy for humans, running is hard for robots because they must keep both feet off the ground at the same time.
Sony has been working for three years on the Qrio jogging robot, following the success of its Aibo robot dog.
With Honda showing off its Asimo humanoid robot, which can walk, Sony has been steadily unveiling more sophisticated versions of Qrio.
Besides running, Qrio can walk, climb slopes and kick balls.
Qrio starts its jog with a walk that slowly accelerates. It then slows down to walking speed again.
While running, both feet are off the ground for four one-hundredths of a second.
The ability to run comes from modifications to the robot’s joints and central processor, as well as from two digital cameras that help Qrio survey its surroundings.