As the relative complexity of devices we use goes up, the power consumption usually increases as well, sometimes exponentially. A Japanese business management television program, World Business Satellite, did a segment earlier this week on “Low Power” design initiatives and the business opportunities that they trigger. Their report included a couple of very interesting robots.
Both of the robots are projects of the “furo”, the Chiba based Future Robotics Technology Center, and make extensive use of low power design techniques.
The robot that appears first in the video clip below has eight legs/wheels and can move swiftly and smoothly changing direction in an instant. Each leg/wheel has its own dedicated electronics and controller chip. All the onboard electronics have been designed using low power IC technology.
Morph3 - towards the very end of the video clip there’s a short demonstration of the bipedal robot’s skill and flexibility.
The morph3 robot has 30 degrees of freedom, stands 38 cm tall and weighs 2.4 kg. Its primary CPU is a NEC VR5500 running VxWorks (Wind River). It uses 111 sensors including a gyroscope, acceleration, foot sole, tactile force, and geomagnetism sensors along with others. It also has an on-board Bluetooth module.
Here’s the videoclip-
Future Robotics Technology Center (Japanese)