Robot Sweats to Cool Off

Over the years, scientists and researchers have created robots that abilities range from being able to vacuum your living room carpet, to detecting human emotions. Kengoro is a new robot built by a group of Japanese researchers from the University of Tokyo’s JSK lab. The robot is defined as a humanoid; having an appearance or character that is similar to that of a human. Kengoro’s stamina is incomparable to that of other two-legged machines.

Humans generate heat when they preform tasks, so to cool off, their bodies perspire. In robots, overheating can lead to failure. Kengoro can move almost exactly the way humans can with its motors of which it has over a hundred. With these motors generating a lot of heat, the researchers were determined to find a way to cool the robot off. Some common ways were using water pumps, fans, radiators, and heat sinks. However, they wanted a energy conserving, efficient cooling system.

The University of Tokyo lab presented the machine at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers/Robotics Society of Japan International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, under the title “Skeletal Structure with Artificial Perspiration for Cooling by Latent Heat for Musculoskeletal Humanoid Kengoro.” University of Tokyo’s Toyotaka Kozuki said in an interview with IEEE, “Our concept was adding more functions to the frame, using it to transfer water, release heat, and at the same time support forces.” In order to do this, the team built a water circulation system into the robot’s skull. This system allowed the water to go around the motors to cool them. The water would then evaporate from the heat.

Scientists are now exploring ways to apply this research to clothing. The tiny holes could be used to develop a new type of fabric for increased breathability.

Author: hbeldotti

Hi, my name is Hannah Beldotti and I am currently a sophomore at Bronxville HIgh School. I have attended the Bronxville School since kindergarten. One of the subjects that I find intriguing and enjoy learning about in school is science. Chemistry, specifically, is where I find myself striving to learn and understand more about the subject. I play lacrosse and tennis for the school. In the future, I would like to get involved with projects inside or outside of school for science. Last year, I worked, along with other students, to get involved in the World Science Fair. Also, I am interested in computers and computer engineering; I am currently taking web design.

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