Previously, Cornell students set a record for a robot walking untethered in April 2008, when Ranger strode about 5.6 miles around the Barton Hall track. Boston Dynamics' BigDog subsequently beat that record.
One goal for robotic research is to show off the machine's energy efficiency. Unlike other walking robots that use motors to control every movement, the Ranger appears more relaxed and in a way emulates human walking, using gravity and momentum to help swing its legs forward.
The information could be applied to rehabilitation, prostheses for humans and improving athletic performance.