Wasn't it Thomas Edison who said genius is 99 percent perspiration and 1 percent inspiration? Here's a new development that leans heavily on both. The University of Tokyo has developed Kengoro, a musculoskeletal humanoid robot that cools its motors by sweating.
Kengoro, which stands 5 feet 6 inches (1.7 meters) tall, made its debut at the International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems held this week in Daejon, Korea. Japanese researchers needed to find a way to cool it down without adding a batch of tubes and fans, so they decided to make it sweat.
According to IEEE Spectrum, fake sweat glands allow deionized water to seep out through Kengoro's frame around its 108 motors. As the motors heat up, the water cools them. Kengoro's metal frame is embedded with permeable channels, kind of like a sponge. The deionized water seeps slowly from the inner layers to the more porous layers as needed for cooling.
But Kengoro doesn't have to worry about wiping down its gym equipment -- the water evaporates as it cools so it doesn't drip in gross puddles like it does with guy on the Stairmaster next to you.
The creative cooling method allowed Kengoro to demonstrate doing push-ups for an impressive 11 minutes straight without overheating. That's right, push-ups. It's a skinless Arnold Schwarzenegger, in other words. Let's just hope it sticks to "Kindergarten Cop" Arnold, and not "Terminator" Arnold, because we all know how mankind's little adventure with super-advanced robots turned out there.