How many of you remember ‘weebles’? For those of you who don’t know what we’re talking about, weebles used to be the most basic of toys that were capable of maintaining their ground; that is to say, they did wobble but never toppled over. They could balance themselves. This was achieved by making use of laws of physics to come up with a weight system that didn’t allow these toys to fall. Why are we talking about such old toys today? That is because a Japanese firm has designed a robot that makes use of the same principle like these toys used to. Say hello to the Murata Cheerleaders!
These robots are capable of dancing while balancing themselves on a ball attached at their bottoms. They have gyroscopes and infrared sensors which enable them to perform in synchronization without falling. They have been created by Murata Manufacturing company.
Murata Cheerleaders can remain upright owing to the incorporation of 3 advanced gyro sensors that impart the inverted-pendulum control technology, which also allows the robot to detect the tilting angles. Instead of wheels, the cheerleading robots balance on a removable ball which rolls in its housing to help the machines dance and spin. Each robot has been given 4 infrared sensors along with 5 ultrasonic microphones that are capable of detecting objects in their surroundings even in the dark.
By making use of a system that relies on varying speeds of sound and light waves, the robot is capable of determining the relative position of robots within a 16 meter square. By collaborating with researchers from the Matsuno Lab at Kyoto University, Murata has also been able to develop an advanced technology pertaining to group control that will allow 10 robots to perform in harmony without colliding with one another. The location of every robot is transmitted via wireless communication network and is controlled by a program that was developed specially for this purpose. The senior Vice President and Deputy Director of Murata’s Technology and Business Development Unit, Yuichi Kojima, said, “The Murata Cheerleaders showcase the ability of electronics to enrich our lives.”
Senior Manager of corporate communication, Koichi Yoshikawa, explained, “We believe the wireless communication of sensor data could become a core infrastructure for the advanced integration of people and objects in smart societies. We developed the Murata Cheerleaders to demonstrate our electronics technologies. Our hope is that the Murata Cheerleaders will inspire new discoveries by young innovators and put smiles on the faces of people worldwide.”
The Murata Cheerleader will be performing at the CEATEC 2014 that will be taking place in Tokyo from 7th to 11th October.