Proposed Rules for Legged Robot Distance Records

  1. Any number of legs is allowed. There could be sub-categories for bipeds, quadrapeds, hexapods if the competition gets hot in the future.
  2. Legs must reciprocate. That is, the legs must go back and forth. It is not allowed for the legs to be on a rotary joint (at the robot hip or knee) that goes round and round.
  3. The feet must be small. This is to prevent things that essentially roll. The maximum distance (measured in the direction of travel, not diagonally) between any two points on the foot that touch the ground must be equal or less than one quarter the average step distance (the step distance of one leg is the distance between successive foot contacts of that leg; that is the step distance is the total distance covered divided by the number of steps of that leg).
  4. The robot must be energetically autonomous. No useful energy can be supplied during the race from cables, tubes, wires or pipes.
    If the competition gets hot then there could be sub-categories for robots powered by a) gravity (passive dynamics), b) electricity, c) hydrocarbons, d) and wind e) sun. But for now, they can all be in the same category.
  5. Control autonomy. All communications need to be wireless. In the future there can be separate categories for robots that do and do not have remote control, external computer control vs on board control, on board vs off board sensing, etc.
  6. Between start and finish the only physical contact the robot can make is with the ground or incidental contacts with the surroundings. No human, wire, stick, or machine can contact the machine in a way that contributes positively to its locomotion or balance.
  7. Any deviations from flatness of the walking surface cannot be so as to enhance steering or balance stability. The course may not have physical features (e.g., a trough-like shape) specifically designed to aid the steering or balance of the robot. Optical features to aid steering or balance are acceptable.
  8. Distance is measured between any two instants in time designated by the racers, between which all rules here are satisfied. Distance is measured along the path of any point on the body of the robot designated by the racers. Such a part cannot have oscillations added for the purpose of adding recorded distance. A lower bound for this is the minimum-distance path that clears a set of points or curves that the robot also cleared (e.g., a marked line on a convex track that the robot stayed outside of).

For Getting Such A Competition Official, Contact

David Hawksett, Science & Technology
Guinness World Records
338 Euston Road
London NW1 3BD
Tel: +44 (0) 207 891 4588
Fax: +44 (0) 207 891 4501

Last edits byAndy Ruina Nov 30, 2011