When the heat is on, this robot sweats to cool down

Humans and the humanoid robot Kengoro in the video above have more in common than looks: we sweat to cool us down.

Humanoids such as Kengoro are sophisticated and dynamic robots that use a lot of rotation force, called torque, to achieve their human-like movements. 

But torque generates heat, and overheating is bad.

Engineers have incorporated cooling mechanisms to overcome this heat, such as fans, heat sinks and radiators, but they tend to be heavy or take up too much space.

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All that hardware generates a lot of heat.
JSK Lab / University of Tokyo

So researchers from the University of Tokyo invented a cooling system that would allow the musculoskeletal humanoid Kengoro perform at his best without bulky add-ons.

Water seeps through micro-channels in Kengoro’s aluminum frame (or his skeleton) and evaporates around motors to cool them.

It means that on just one cup of water, Kengoro can run around for about half a day before needing to rehydrate. 

The researchers presented their work at the 2016 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems in Daejeon, Korea, earlier this month.

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