The World's smallest and thinnest Bluetooth-equipped micro-robot prototype will be unveiled at ROBODEX 2003 next month in Yokohama, Japan. Epson's Monsieur II has a volume of just 7.8cm3 and weighs 12.5g, travels at a rate of 150mm/sec and is driven by an ultrasonic motor 0.4mm thick. Basic forward, backward and turning functions can be wirelessly controlled, although cuts the top-speed of the robot by half. The three 1.7-volt zinc-air batteries that constitute the power supply account for more than one third of Monsieur II's overall weight and deliver up to five hour of continuous motion.Future applications of the technology may include performing tasks in spaces too small for human access.The original 1993 Monsieur was marginally smaller - due to the absence of a Bluetooth module - but was much slower had only the capacity to follow light.
About the Author
Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks.All articles by Mike Hanlon
One of my last projects was a 4x4 differential drone, built from scratch, remotely controlled via Bluetooth using an Android smartphone. Schematics / demo video here: http://www.pocketmagic.net/?p=1398 Besides ultrasonic sensors, the robot is about to be equipped with a homemade geiger counter sensor to detect \"exotic\" environment parameters like the dangerous ionizing radiation. There are quite a few possibilities since the robot has an ATmega microcontroller that can easily support additional sensors. The data is sent back to the Android device, via bluetooth.Radu Motisan