Epson Develops World's Smallest Flying Microrobot
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Epson Develops World's Smallest Flying Microrobot - JCN Newswire
Epson Develops World's Smallest Flying Microrobot

 Seiko Epson uFR
Tokyo, Nov 18, 2003 - (JCN Newswire) - Seiko Epson Corporation (TSE: 6724) has developed the uFR ("Micro Flying Robot"), the world's smallest*1 flying prototype microrobot. Epson developed the uFR to demonstrate the micromechatronics technology that it has cultivated in-house over the years and to explore the possibilities for microrobots and the development of component technology applications. The company will display its latest offering at the 2003 International Robot Exhibition, which will be held at Tokyo Big Sight on November 19 - 22, 2003.

Based on its micromechatronics technology, which is one of the company's core technologies, Epson has developed and marketed a family of microrobots known as the EMRoS series*2, beginning with Monsieur, which was put on sale in 1993 and is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the world's smallest microrobot. In April of this year Epson developed Monsieur II-P, a prototype microrobot that operates on an ultra-thin, ultrasonic motor and a power-saving Bluetooth module that allows multiple units to be remote-controlled simultaneously. Using these robots, Epson also realized the world's smallest*3 full-blown robot ballet theater. In this way, Epson has played a pioneering role in research and development relating to microrobots and component technology applications.

The uFR, which will be shown at the exhibition, causes levitation by use of contra-rotating propellers powered by an ultra-thin, ultrasonic motor with the world's highest*4 power-weight ratio and can be balanced in mid-air by means of the world's first*5 stabilizing mechanism using a linear actuator. Furthermore, the essence of micromechatronics has been brought together in high-density mounting technology to minimize the size and weight of the circuitry's control unit.

By developing the uFR, Epson has demonstrated the possibility of expanding the activity range of microrobots from two-dimensional space (the ground) to three-dimensional space (the air). Epson intends to use the occasion provided by the exhibition to feel out the reactions of visitors, discover and test problems related to the functional use of space by microrobots, and thus to further concentrate its efforts on advancing its original micromechatronics technology and cultivating applications to meet future needs.

*1,3,4,5: According to Epson's research.
*2: EMRoS stands for Epson Micro Robot System. The series consists of Monsieur (1 cm3 in volume; listed in the Guinness Book of Records; 1993); Nino (0.5 cm3, 1994); Ricordo (1 cm3; equipped with a recording and playback function; 1995); and Rubie (1 cm3; equipped with a capricious wandering function; 1995). All are autonomous travelling robots that chase a light source. Sales of the EMRoS series have been discontinued.

About Seiko Epson Corporation

Epson is a global imaging and innovation leader that is dedicated to exceeding the vision of customers worldwide through its compact, energy-saving, high-precision technologies, with a product lineup ranging from printers and 3LCD projectors for business and the home, to electronic and crystal devices. Led by the Japan-based Seiko Epson Corporation, the Epson Group comprises over 70,000 employees in 108 companies around the world, and is proud of its ongoing contributions to the global environment and the communities in which it operates.


Corporate Communications Dept., Seiko Epson Corporation
+81-266-58-1705 or +81-3-3340-2637


Nov 18, 2003
Source: Seiko Epson Corporation

Seiko Epson Corporation (TSE: 6724)

From the Japan Corporate News Network
Topic: Research and development
View more news from these Sectors: Electronics General, Electronics General, Electronics General, Electronics General

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