After all of our advancements in walking robots, we still have yet to see one that can pick itself back up. Current automatons either need to be helped back up or specifically designed to do so.
Junichi Urata, a Japanese roboticist from the Jouhou System Kougaku Laboratory, wants to build a robot that won’t fall over in the first place--even if it's kicked and harassed repeatedly by its creators. To this end, Urata built the HRP3L-JSK (HRP3L for short), which uses purely electric power and high-speed motors.
An electric powered robot might not seem like news, but Urata put together a new type of electrical actuation system. In addition to a high-capacity, slow-electron-flow chemical battery, the HRP3L is equipped with a 13.5-farad capacitor system that can deliver lots of energy in a short amount of time.
The HRP3L needs this instantaneous energy transfer to feed its 200-watt brushless motors, which also need to be liquid-cooled. The motors can move over 1000 degrees in one second, and can deliver 35 newton-meters (25.8 foot-pounds) of torque. Obviously, robots with cat -like reflexes should be on our next invention list.
The robot has also been programmed with a balance control system that calculates over 170 foot placements in a single millisecond to prevent itself from falling over. The system is so robust that the robot can’t be kicked down even if assaulted from a number of angles. Just remember that it's all fun and games until the robots start kicking back…
Be sure to check out IEEE Spectrum for a full technical breakdown of the HRP3L-JSK.
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