If you're seriously paranoid about the "rise of the machines," then this'll REALLY unnerve you. Robots are getting more and more human-like, and it's freaking us out. Remember when Japan held a 26-mile robot marathon earlier this year? That trek's nothing compared to the latest stunt from Cornell University.
Cornell's Ranger robot was put on a track and left to walk, walk and walk some more until its battery ran out. It ended up going strong for 30 hours, 49 minutes and 2 seconds before shutting down. That's a record-setting 40.5 miles (the previous record was 14.3 miles). The Ranger blew its predecessor out of the water!
But before we get too terrified about the robot's accomplishment, remember—it didn't do it alone. People had to walk alongside the machine and steer it so that it would stay on the track. Several staff members and students took shifts to keep Ranger going in the right direction.
Thanks to lower-powered components, Ranger was able to run on 4.7W. The machine's not exactly Cyberdyne's T-101, and it's definitely not the T-1000, but it's something. If they place a GPS system on that thing (to give it direction), though, they could be on their way, so maybe this isn't such a good idea ...
(via The Daily Geek)