Scientists have found a new way to keep robots cool and maintain their efficiency
Humanoid robots have come a long way in terms of construction and functionality. Today’s robots can do a lot of things in a very similar way a human does.
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Recently, a group of Japanese researchers have reached another milestone with the development of a sweating humanoid robot - a system that keeps the robot cool and helps it fucntion properly.
One of the biggest challenges a robot company can face is overheating. Heat can affect robots efficiency and increases the chances of a permanent damage. By sweating, human release fluids from their body and keep themselves cool. Japanese researchers have applied the same technique on a robot named Kengoro and allowed it to exude sweat. The robot is capable of doing push-ups for 11 straight minutes without overheating its motors.
Kengoro is a 5 feet 7 inch tall humanoid and weighs 123 pounds. It is equipped with more than 100 motors and these motors generate a lot to heat. To add a cooling system to this sturdy, complicated robot is not an easy task. Therefore, researchers from University of Tokyo looked at how they could make better use of Kengoro’s existing components and make a coolant-delivery system out of it. Researchers went beyond the conventional approach and just not allowed it to run water through it its frame. Instead, they designed it in a way that it can now literally sweat out of its bones.
“Usually the frame of a robot is only used to support forces,” lead author Toyotaka Kozuki told IEEE Spectrum. “Our concept was adding more functions to the frame, using it to transfer water, release heat, and at the same time support forces.”
The robot has aluminum bones with sponge like gaps and channels. The channels can transport water around the robot and replicate more human-like sweating rather than just leaking water on the floor.
Kengoro can run half a day on almost one cup of ionized water and keep itself hydrated. Testing showed that this technique is three times better than conventional cooling ways, which just circulate the water through the interior channels.