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posted by martyb on Sunday October 16 2016, @11:57PM   Printer-friendly
from the sweating-the-details dept.

Japanese researchers have designed a robot that can avoid overheating its motors by "sweating":

The researchers, from the University of Tokyo's JSK Lab led by Professor Masayuki Inaba, were trying to figure out how to add a cooling system to their 1.7-meter tall, 56-kilogram musculoskeletal humanoid named Kengoro (who joins Kojiro and Kenshiro as part of the JSK robot family). Kengoro is already stuffed to the brim with structural components, circuit boards, gears, and 108 motors (!), and there was simply no room to add active water cooling with tubes and a radiator and fans. The researchers started looking at how they could make better use of Kengoro's existing components, and they came up with the idea of using the robot's skeletal structure (its metal frame) as a coolant-delivery system.

The approach goes way beyond just running water channels through the frame and circulating water through them, since that wouldn't have solved the problem of needing to place a radiator in there somewhere. The researchers instead decided to try a passive technique, allowing the water to seep out through the frame around the motors to cool them evaporatively. In other words, Kengoro sweats.

[...] Kengoro can run for half a day on about a cup of deionized water, although just like you, it has to keep itself hydrated for the cooling to be effective, especially if it's working hard. Testing shows that this method of cooling works three times better than air cooling, and significantly better than just circulating water through the interior channel, although it's not as effective as a traditional radiator using active cooling. In practice, this means that Kengoro can run at full power longer, letting it do push-ups for 11 minutes straight without burning out its motors.


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 17 2016, @12:30AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 17 2016, @12:30AM (#415024)

    There is another smaller robot that mops up when the big one sweats all over the floor...ad infinitum.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 17 2016, @02:13AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 17 2016, @02:13AM (#415055)

      You keep slaves and they wipe up after you at the gym, am I right?

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 17 2016, @02:01AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 17 2016, @02:01AM (#415052)

    Human sweat's got salt in it. Deionized water doesn't. This fails the Turing taste test.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 17 2016, @07:13AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 17 2016, @07:13AM (#415131)

      Brawndo's got electrolytes.

    • (Score: 2) by tibman on Monday October 17 2016, @05:55PM

      by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Monday October 17 2016, @05:55PM (#415292)

      Unfortunately, robot sweat sommelier doesn't pay very well. The turing taste testers will pass just about anything to get their paycheck. Some have postulated that the whole project is a meta-turing test of some kind.

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      SN won't survive on lurkers alone. Write comments.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 17 2016, @02:04AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 17 2016, @02:04AM (#415053)

    More powerful motors.

    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 17 2016, @02:11AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 17 2016, @02:11AM (#415054)

      More powerful motors will be bigger, heavier, and produce more heat. The motors that move those motors will also have to be more powerful, bigger, heavier, and produce more heat. I see where you're going with this: a huge, sweaty robot. Rule 34?

      • (Score: 2) by Dunbal on Monday October 17 2016, @02:29AM

        by Dunbal (3515) on Monday October 17 2016, @02:29AM (#415058)

        bigger, heavier, and produce more heat

        Not necessarily. If that were true and motors only scaled the way you say, our world would be run by vast amounts of tiny little motors. The right motor exists for the right job. While this experiment is interesting, I'd much prefer an engineer who designs a system that will last a long time because it doesn't put too much load on the motors than one who completely re-engineers the structure (I'm pretty sure the porous fluid filled "skeleton" was NOT cheap oh and by the way, have you ever worked with water? Don't expect it to last for any amount of time unless you are using absolutely pure water) to make motors last longer when placed under unreasonable loads.

        • (Score: 2) by mhajicek on Monday October 17 2016, @05:59AM

          by mhajicek (51) on Monday October 17 2016, @05:59AM (#415112)

          Most motors have duty cycles less than 100%.

          --
          The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 17 2016, @04:36PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 17 2016, @04:36PM (#415249)

          If powerful motors weren't necessarily big, tiny (but curiously powerful!) motors would indeed be the order of the day.

  • (Score: 2) by t-3 on Monday October 17 2016, @06:07AM

    by t-3 (4907) on Monday October 17 2016, @06:07AM (#415115)

    This technology is kinda cool, but why do they feel the need to keep making humanoid robots? We have plenty of human shaped humans that can do things we need human shapes for, start taking advantage of all the possibilities of different designs to do things humans CAN'T do!

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 17 2016, @07:09AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 17 2016, @07:09AM (#415130)

      Homes, tools, doors, etc. are built to be used by humans with 2 arms, 2 legs, and 10 fingers. Wheelchair ramps aside, a humanoid shape is efficient in handling the general-purpose tasks of a human-centric world.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 17 2016, @04:03PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 17 2016, @04:03PM (#415233)

        (and they're sexier when they're human shaped)

  • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Monday October 17 2016, @06:49AM

    by FatPhil (863) <reversethis-{if.fdsa} {ta} {tnelyos-cp}> on Monday October 17 2016, @06:49AM (#415122) Homepage
    Or the one where Bashir meets Data...
    --
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