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Development of the unicycle-riding robot“MURATA GIRL”

Sep 23, 2008

Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
President/ Statutory Representative Director: Tsuneo Murata

MURATA GIRL

Overview

Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd. has developed a unicycle-riding robot, “MURATA GIRL,” following its bicycle-riding robot, “MURATA BOY.”
MURATA GIRL will be demonstrated at the Murata booth during “CEATEC Japan 2008” held at Makuhari Messe, Chiba prefecture between Tuesday, September 30th and Saturday, October 4th.

Background

Various types of robots capable of performing such roles as entertainment and security have been created recently for use in our daily lives. These robots incorporate several Murata products, including capacitors that store electricity in electronic circuits, sensors that control motion, and communication modules that exchange information.
Since the robotics market is expected to experience strong growth, expansion in the demand for such electronic components is also expected.
For the purpose of introducing our excellent products and technological leadership, we used several Murata components that are geared toward the robotics market in MURATA BOY and applied the advanced control and circuit design technologies that were nurtured at the foundation of our monozukuri.
In view of Japanese children’s declining interest in science, Murata has been using MURATA BOY to actively create educational opportunities at schools under the corporate theme of “promoting science education as a part of Murata's CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) activities,”, to demonstrate to children just how much fun science can be. Our efforts have been especially well received by children, and educators.
Many of the children who have seen the MURATA BOY demonstration have expressed their wish to see a “unicycle-riding robot.” To make their dream come true, we developed the unicycle-riding robot, “MURATA GIRL.”
Several young employees from our various departments volunteered to participate in the planning and development of MURATA GIRL. Her appearance and character were handled by female designers and planners.

Main features

  • Can maintain balance and move around on a unicycle
  • Can keep a certain distance from an object using a ultrasonic sensor
  • Transmits moving images via a live camera

MURATA GIRL facts

Relationship to MURATA BOY : Younger cousin on the father's side
Actual height : 50cm
Actual weight : 5kg
Birthday : September 23rd
Schooling : Second year in kindergarten
Zodiac sign : Virgo
Place of birth : Shiga prefecture
Favorite pastime : Practicing riding her unicycle at the park
Dream : Traveling around the world with MURATA BOY
Personality : Physically active but shy

Main Murata products used and features of MURATA GIRL

  1. Gyro sensors detect tilt angle (2)
    These sensors detect MURATA GIRL's tilt angle. 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 tilt in order to maintain balance.
  2. Ultrasonic sensors detect obstacles (send/receive pair of sensors)
    MURATA GIRL judges how far away an obstacle is by measuring the time it takes to transmit ultrasound and receive the reflected signal from the obstacle.
  3. Bluetooth® communication module
    MURATA GIRL sends and receives commands and data via mobile information terminals and PCs using a 2.45GHz band radio wave.
    ※Bluetooth® is a registered trademark of the Bluetooth SIG Inc.
  4. General purpose components for electronic circuits
    Several of Murata's general-purpose electronic components are utilized in MURATA GIRL, including chip monolithic ceramic capacitors to properly supply electricity, a ceramic resonator CERALOCK® to supply a reference signal, NTC Thermistor to detect temperature, a trimmer potentiometer to adjust characteristics dispersion in circuits, and the EMI suppression filter EMIFIL®, etc.

Our web page introducing MURATA GIRL

Check out details about MURATA GIRL including moving images!
Available on October 1, 3 PM Japan time

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