June 2, 2008 / 11:52 AM / 10 years ago

Japan robot weathers rain to climb Grand Canyon

A Panasonic's EVOLTA Robot in pictured in a handout photo released by Panasonic on June 2, 2008. The 17-cm robot powered by a pair of AA batteries climbed a 530-m rope climb to scale a cliff at the Grand Canyon in under seven hours on May 23, 2008 Panasonic said. REUTERS/Panasonic/Handout

TOKYO (Reuters Life!) - Neither rain, sleet or hail could stop a Japanese robot from climbing the Grand Canyon, with the hand-sized “Evolta” scaling a 530 meter (580 yard) cliff in just under seven hours.

Powered by two AA batteries on its back, the blue robot inched up a thin rope with its hands and feet over four days late last month, hampered by rain and heavy wind, but making it to the top on its sixth try.

The 134 gram (5 ounce) robot was part of a battery campaign by Matsushita Electric Industrial Co Ltd, the maker of Panasonic products.

“It was freezing cold and the weather was horrible with rain and hail pouring over us,” Toshiya Inoue of Matsushita’s communication group told Reuters on Monday.

“The robot wasn’t waterproof so the battery broke down at one point,” he said.

Video footage showed “Evolta” sliding down the wire, but soon picking up its snail-paced ascent. The final feat took six hours and 46 minutes.

“We failed on many attempts, but everyone encouraged me to never give up,” said Tomotaka Takahashi, the robot’s designer, after the climb.

The company’s Website featured a picture of the triumphant robot at the end of its climb, both arms raised and carrying a blue flag printed with its name.

Reporting by Chika Osaka; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani

0 : 0
  • narrow-browser-and-phone
  • medium-browser-and-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser
  • wide-browser-and-larger
  • medium-browser-and-landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser-and-larger
  • above-phone
  • portrait-tablet-and-above
  • above-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet-and-above
  • landscape-tablet-and-medium-wide-browser
  • portrait-tablet-and-below
  • landscape-tablet-and-below