It may look like the love child of a toaster and a walker, but this little robot, named Xingzhe No. 1, just broke the world record for furthest distance covered by a quadruped robot. (Try saying that five times fast.)
A team from the College of Automation of Chongqing University of Posts and Telecommunications, built the record-breaking machine. Led by Professor Li Qingdu, the team developed Xingzhe No. 1 to test electrical efficiency and to stretch the feats that current robotics can achieve — especially in environments unfit for humans to be in.
Xingzhe No. 1 has — you guessed it — four legs that are controlled by a central circuit system. The legs in the front are spaced slightly further apart than the legs in the back, and the two sets work together in a motion that looks kind of like a human using crutches. Quadruped robots must be a single mechanical machine without wheels.
The team has been working on the robot since 2014, but worked on developing the traveling machine until it was awarded the record in November 2015. Xingzhe No. 1 traveled around a 95.39 meter track 1,405 times — running just over 83 miles on a single charge. That’s about 300,000 steps that the robot completed in just 54 hours and 34 minutes.
In fact, Xingzhe No. 1 lived up to its name — which actually translates to “walker” in Chinese.
Quingdu emphasized that the research involved was to create a more dependable robot for potentially dangerous or difficult missions, according to Robotics Trends. “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.
The previous record-holder was built by a team from Cornell University. Their “Ranger Robot” covered a distance of 40.5 miles, less than half of what Xingzhe No. 1 did on its record-breaking laps.
Check out little Xingzhe No. 1 here in action on the track:
And do not miss out on Xinghze strutting around with a little mustache here: