Overheating due to prolonged continuous hours of use has traditionally been a major downfall to the use of robotics as opposed to human labor. Robots are often more intelligent, efficient, and cost effective than human labor. Actual humans, however, have the organic mechanisms that allow themto recover and cool themselves down, an ability robots have not had until now.
Researchers at the Johou Systems Kougaku Lab at the University of Tokyo imitated the sweating function in humans in order to help their robots cool themselves. The ability of the robots to sweat is innovative in that it takes away the necessity for the robots to contain cooling systems like radiator fans and water cooling tools.
The inventive sweating capability solves what the engineers refer to as a space dilemma, where robots cannot hold these larger mechanisms on top of their gears, motors and circuit boards.The JSK Lab researchers presented their work at the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems in South Korea.
The JSK Lab came up with the system in order to solve the specific problems of a musculoskeletal humanoid robot called Kengoro. Kengoro is 1.7 meters tall (5.6 feet) and weighs 56 kilograms (123.5 pounds). Kengoro is now able to cool himself by emitting water straight from its frame. Kengoro has a laser sintered frame crafted out of aluminum powder that allows for permeability of the water through multiple micro channels.