LONDON Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd. has developed Murata Girl, a unicycle-riding robot which uses gyro sensors, Bluetooth and ultra sound to stay upright and move around.
Murata released Murata Boy, a bicycle-riding robot in 2005 but a unicycle lools to provide even more design challenges.
The robots require several of Murata's own products, including capacitors that store electricity in electronic circuits, sensors that control motion, and communication modules that exchange information.
Murata says that as a result of Japanese children’s declining interest in science, it has been using Murata Boy to actively create educational opportunities at schools to demonstrate to children just how much fun science can be.
The appearance and character Murata Girl were handled by female designers and planners the design had to solve the problems of maintaining balance and movement by a unicycle while keeping its distance from an object using an ultrasonic sensor as well as transmitting moving images via a live camera.
The robot is 50cm high and she weighs in at a petite 5kg. Two gyro sensors detect the robot's tilt angle with signals from the gyro sensors help control the unicycle wheel in the forward and backward directions and a fly wheel inside her torso monitors side direction in order to maintain balance.
She uses a send/receive pair of ultrasonic sensors to detects how far away an obstacle is by measuring the time it takes to transmit and receive the reflected signal from the obstacle.
Commands and data is sent and received via mobile information terminals and PCs using a 2.45GHz radio waveband .
Several of Murata's general-purpose electronic components including a chip monolithic ceramic capacitor, a Ceralock ceramic resonator to resonate the reference signal, a NTC Thermistor to detect temperature, a trimmer potentiometer to adjust characteristics dispersion in circuits, and a EMIFIL suppression filter.
Coming under the description of 'too much information' are the details that Murata Girl's relationship to Murata Boy is younger cousin on the father's side and she was born on September 23rd making her Zodiac sign Virgo and she is in second year of kindergarten. Murata even shares her place of birth Shiga prefecture and her personality is 'physically active but shy'.