Not running?

Much as I love this, I fear I must moan: Honda have posted a delightful video of their ASIMO robot ‘running.’ (Streaming, probably Windows Media). As Jason Kottke notes, the walk/run transition is curiously charming, but I have a nit to pick. Surely, ‘running’ is a locomotion mode in which, for a substantial portion of the cycle, both feet are clear of the ground?

Unless I’m wrong – and it’s hard to be certain since I can’t frame-step the movie – ASIMO is not ‘running’ in this clip, it’s merely walking more quickly. Still impressive, but not running. Not yet.

2 thoughts on “Not running?”

  1. The IAAF define it as:
    Walking is progression by steps so taken that unbroken contact with the ground is maintained. At each step, the advancing foot of the walker must make contact with the ground before the rear foot leaves the ground. During the period of each step when a foot is on the ground, the leg must be straightened (i.e. not bent at the knee) at least for one moment, and in particular, the supporting leg must be straight in the vertical upright position.
    This isn’t their latest rule, this is the 1972 definition, but it’s more clearer.
    So, running means feet loose contact with the ground. A possible nomination for the 2005 awards in the Guardian? 😉

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