The researchers at the University of Tokyo have developed a novel technique to keep their humanoid robot cool as it works out.
An intricate series of motors helps the robot named Kengoro perform complex workout routines like doing the press ups. However, on the downside, these motors are vulnerable to overheating and did not allow the bot to complete its exercise routine without burning out!
The biggest problem faced by the scientists from the Tokyo University was the absence of adequate space to fit in radiators and fans necessary to keep a computer system cool. They came up with an ingenious solution whereby small gaps were engineered in Kengoro’s frame to allow the water to seep out. The mechanism prevents overheating and keeps the structure cool.
The technique channels the natural cooling mechanism in the human body. The compact and lightweight technology allows Kengoro to go on doing the press ups for a longer period.
The 1.7-meters tall Kengoro can perform press ups for up to eleven minutes without giving out. Toyotaka Kozuki, the lead researcher, told IEEE Spectrum that:
“Usually the frame of a robot is only used to support forces. Our concept was adding more functions to the frame, using it to transfer water, release heat, and at the same time support forces.”
The frame for the robot was designed using laser sintering technique with aluminium powder. The process resembles 3D printing and allows the scientists to shape metal with complex features. The sponge-like frame design allows the water to spill out.
Half a cup of water can keep Kengoro running for half a day.