Panasonic held a send-off party for Tomotaka Takahashi and his 20-odd crew that are going to attempt a new world record at the Lemans 24 hours race course in France, where the media was able to get some nice photos and video of the redesigned Evolta robot (and vehicle).
Evolta himself is about 17cm tall, with the vehicle about 30cm wide, 20cm high, and 20cm long and can travel at 1.3kph. Two DC motors powered by AA Evolta batteries spin the front wheels, while the passive wheel in the back causes Evolta’s legs to pedal by way of a pulley. They’re made of carbon fiber and plastic, which should be strong enough to survive the heat emanating from the race track (the circuit boards are considered relatively safe inside Evolta’s body). The race course is 4,185 m, which should provide plenty of room for Evolta’s challenge of lasting 24 hours, and should earn him another Guinness Book World Record for longest distance traveled by a remote controlled car. The race date is set for August 5th, 10am.
Apparently besides the challenges of going uphill and braking and turning while going downhill (which have been addressed in the final robot), insects come out at night which can stop Evolta in its tracks due to the small wheels. Takahashi-san even said that he had to sweep snails away during the testing phase. The biggest challenge of all is the weather, which is unpredictable compared to the batteries’ duration, he said.
Willis Russel, President of Guinness World Records Office Japan, also attended the press event. He commended Panasonic for its ambitious project, and said that if there were problems on the race course they would attempt the feat on a circular rail like the one in the photos (after the break).
[source: Impress Robot Watch]
- Panasonic (official site)
- Panasonic Evolta 2 press release (JP)
- Evolta (official site JP)
- Evolta Challenge Blog (JP)
Impress Robot Watch