Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/09/19/tiny_panasonic_robo_does_triathlon/

Diminutive robot to attempt Iron Man Triathalon

Plastic Man Triathlon in this case

By Anna Leach

Posted in Science, 19th September 2011 07:02 GMT

A 20-inch robot powered by just three rechargeable batteries will take on the gruelling Iron Man triathlon course. Because it can.

The robot – consisting of a small green and white body and a modest battery-pack will have to swim, run and bike for 230km (143miles).

Mr Evolta comes with three interchangeable body parts, which allow it to complete the different stages of the Iron Man course. Its parts include a miniature bicycle, which it cycles in a hoop, and arm blades which it uses to paddle during the swim section.

"This is very tough even for a sportsman, but I think it is worth a challenge," said Tomotaka Takahashi, who created the robo for Panasonic.

"The robot will encounter a lot of hardships on its way, but I hope it will overcome them all and succeed in the end."

Takahashi explained that the hardest part of designing the robo was the waterproofing.

The Evolta robot is really just a front for the battery, a Panasonic invention that it has wangled into The Guinness Book of World Records for "Longest Lasting AA Alkaline Battery in a wide range of devices". A thinner can allows for more active components in the battery according to the Panasonic site, and and different components make for longer-lasting reactions.

Of course there's not much practical benefit to a robot capable of completing triathlons. Same way as it's not a very practical skill for humans. Get in a car why don't you?

Still for those interested, the triathlon challenge begins on 24 October and will continue non-stop for seven days and nights. The actual Ironman World Championship takes place in early October. ®