Meet Kengoro, The Sweating Robot!

Nov 15, 2016 By Renee W, Writer Intern
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For many of us, we sweat when it is especially hot outside, or when we exercise. We can also agree that sweating can be very troublesome, and not something many people enjoy.

But, what if I told you that this underrated body function is what allows Kengoro, a robot that sweats to do more push-ups than you could possibly count?

Created by researchers at the University of Tokyo, this 5 ½ feet tall robot can not only run for half a day but also do push-ups for 11 minutes without having to be recharged. The key to this robot’s success is not scientific mumbo jumbo but, its adaptation to a key human function – sweating.

Why Sweating Is Important In Our Bodies

So, we know when we sweat - but do we know why? Sweating cools us down when our bodies get too hot. Think of this process as taking off that jacket your parent made you wear despite the sizzling hot weather. You do so as a way to cool yourself down.

When our bodies surpass 98.6 degrees, our hypothalamus (basically a built-in thermostat in our bodies) gets alarmed, and in turn, releases sweat through our pores. This delicious (just kidding!) concoction of mostly water and dashes of urea, ammonia, salt, and sugar kicks the heat out from our bodies when it leaves through a process called evaporation. To evaporate is to change from a liquid to a gas, and the more sweat that we release and evaporate, the cooler we get and the faster we are able to continue that grueling exercise or adjust to the scorching weather.

How Kengoro Uses Sweat

Researchers at the University of Tokyo have provided Kengoro with a metal frame filled with water that is able to slowly ooze water out. Our sweat is Kengoro’s water and our pores equal his synthetic metal frame. Water is transported through aluminum passages, cleverly put along the motors, as that is where robots have been found to overheat the most.

Imagine Kengoro attempting to set the world record for the most number of push-ups – which by the way is 10,507! As his arms move up and down, this repeated motion would soon be tiring for even a powerhouse like Kengoro. As his robot organs get overheated from working so hard in such little time, water is transported, then slowly seeped out and evaporated to the rest of its body to chill it up.

There is quite a negative stigma when it comes to sweating and it is important to remember that sweating is a completely natural process. Some people sweat more than others and that is normal. So, don’t sweat it! Even a robot like Kengoro uses sweating to perform feats even humans cannot accomplish!