When a team of Cornell students put Ranger to work tottering around the running track it just kept on walking, eventually achieving 45 laps before its batteries died and the poor thing toppled backwards. This 5.6-mile hike smashed the previous 20-lap record. The kneeless Ranger is designed to investigate aspects of locomotion so that robot walking can be improved, and hopefully prosthetics for humans too.
It's designed to use gravity to assist its strides, tipping its feet to spring off the ground much like our legs do, and the team estimates it's about as efficient at walking as we are. Honda's Asimo, for example, uses something like ten times as much energy, or so estimates the team. Sadly this new record is unofficial, as "there's a lot of rigmarole" in getting Guinness in, apparently. Shame! All that striding for no official record. [Physorg]