Panasonic’s EVOLTA Robot finished a long journey in December. The green-and-white robotic man charged up the ancient Tokaido roadway in Japan, traveling from Tokyo to Kyoto. The 500-kilometer trip took EVOLTA Robot (or EVOLTA-kun, as he is known in Japan) two months to complete.
EVOLTA-kun pulled a green wagon and ran inside a treadmill wheel. He traversed the uneven pavement and sloping hills of the Tokaido using the same two rechargeable AA batteries throughout the trip.
The EVOLTA left Tokyo on Sept. 23, 2010. At each of 53 stations along the Tokaido thoroughfare, the EVOLTA stopped to recharge its batteries.
At his final station, the Sanjo Bridge in Kyoto, the EVOLTA Robot was greeted by adoring fans and hard-working Panasonic team members. The robot’s designer Tomotaka Takahashi, along with the four “EVOLTA Sisters” who had accompanied EVOLTA-kun during his journey, gave speeches and told stories about the two-month ordeal.
In front of the audience, EVOLTA-kun broke a Japanese sake barrel top using a wooden hammer. The act is part of Japanese tradition.
This is not the first time Panasonic’s EVOLTA Robot has made the news. Two years ago, the EVOLTA climbed a 530-meter rope to the top of the Grand Canyon in 6 hours and 46 minutes. The following year, in 2009, the EVOLTA Robot finished the 24-hour Le Mans endurance race of 23.726 km. This latter feat earned the little green-and-white robo-man a place in the Guinness World Records for the longest distance covered by a battery-operated, remote-controlled car.
Two alkaline batteries were used for both challenges.
Watch the live press coverage of Panasonic’s EVOLTA Robot finishing his long journey along the “53 Stations of the Tokaido” from Tokyo to Kyoto. Arriving at the final destination of Sanjo Bridge in Kyoto on a rainy December day, the EVOLTA Robot was met with great enthusiasm by the public spectators cheering the robot to its final steps.