Should i be happy or sad that a robot gets more exercise than I? Sony's Humanoid Robot Learns How to Jog Email this Story Dec 18, 7:16 AM (ET) By YURI KAGEYAMA (AP) Sony Corp.'s humanoid robot Qrio demonstrates a baseball pitch at a news conference in Tokyo... Full Image TOKYO (AP) - Sony Corp.' (SNE)s child-shaped walking robot already knows a few hip dance steps and can kick a miniature soccer ball. Now, it can jog - a new trick developers say is ingenious because it requires the machine to jump off the ground, even for a fraction of a second. The new skills of the humanoid, developed by the Japanese electronics and entertainment giant's robot unit that makes the dog-like Aibo, was demonstrated to reporters at a Tokyo hall Thursday. When an upgrade of the 23-inch tall robot was introduced last year, Sony executive Toshitada Doi had said it might go on sale for the price of an expensive car. But now Sony has no plans to sell Qrio, which stands for "quest for curiosity." Instead, the machine is being billed as a "corporate ambassador," allegedly to highlight technological finesse and imaginative innovation as an entertainment robot that carries out no chores but is merely amusing. Officials refused to give a price estimate. In the latest demonstration, the bubble-headed glowing-eyed robot jiggled as it moved forward on a table, bounced jerkily sideways, then pivoted in a turn, making mechanical jangling sounds with each jump. It knew how to start with a slow walk, move into an easy jog, stop, then turn and begin jogging again. While running robots are not altogether new, Sony engineers said the ability of their robot to smoothly simulate running - even for a distance of 10 feet - was a technological advancement requiring more sophisticated features in the robot's joints as well as a beefed up central processing unit, a major part of a computer, to keep its balance and manage delicate maneuvers. Don't expect Qrio to enter any track meets just yet. It can move only at a speed of about 46 feet per minute, but that's more than twice as fast as its previous walk. Running differs from walking in that both legs must be off the ground at the same time. That moment lasts four one-hundredths of a second for Qrio, and it can jump just 0.2 inches off the ground, Sony spokesman Shinji Obana said. Japan ranks among the world's most advanced nations in robot technology. Japanese automaker Honda Motor Co. has also developed a walking, talking humanoid robot, and universities are also working on various robots. Sony has sold 130,000 Aibo robots worldwide. On Thursday, Qrio also showed off a baseball pitch, shaking its head to signs from an imaginary catcher initially and then nodding in determination, to demonstrate that its metal hands can grasp and release objects. It let a tiny ball plop before laughing reporters, but its form lacked finesse, absent of any of the dramatic leg lifts of the major leaguers. "He still lacks control, but we're working on it," said Yoshihiro Kuroki, a general manager. In past demonstrations, Sony showed the robot can recognize faces, respond to simple conversations, break a fall by reaching out with its arms and get up on its own. That skill came in handy during a dance by four Qrios, two of which held fans and later let them drop. One robot tripped on a fan and collapsed, but it got back on its feet to strike a pose with the others by the end of the dance.