Robovie PC robot wins marathon in Osaka, Japan

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Robovie-PC (right) crosses the finish line in the world's first full-length marathon for two-legged robots in Osaka, Japan, 26 February 2011
Image caption,
Robovie-PC (right) won the race by the narrowest of margins, beating Robovie-PC Lite by just a second

A knee-high humanoid has narrowly won the world's first full-length marathon for two-legged robots.

Robovie-PC crossed the finish line in the Japanese city of Osaka just a second before its closest rival after more than two days of racing.

The 26-mile (42km) race involved 423 laps of an indoor track at an average speed of 0.77 km/h.

Two other androids are yet to complete the course, while one pulled out after just one lap.

Robovie-PC - 40cm (16 inches) tall with a weight of 2.4kg (5.3 pounds) - took an unlikely lead with just a few laps to go when rival Robovie-PC Lite faltered, squandering a comfortable lead.

After the tight finish, both robots waved their arms and bowed to an enthusiastic crowd of clapping spectators.

Media caption,

Organisers say the race is a test of durability not speed

Operators were allowed to change the robots' batteries and motors during the race, but if the robots fell they had to get up themselves.

The race was organised by local authorities and a robotics firm that hopes the marathon will become an international event.

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