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Badminton-Playing Robot Tests Software Designs of the Future


May 20, 2013

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The Energy Software Tools for Sustainable Machine Design (ESTOMAD) project is developing a methodology and information and communications technology tools to model, simulate, analyze, and optimize energy flows and losses throughout a machine. To demonstrate the technologies, the European Union-funded project built a badminton-playing robot and reported that its energy consumption was reduced by 50 percent.

In observing the robot, the ESTOMAD team found that energy consumption of installed machines can be incrementally reduced by punctual modifications, such as replacing standard electric motors with high-efficiency alternatives. Machines that feature the new design schemes are expected to have an average energy saving of 30 percent over their life spans. Automakers and many other industries should benefit from the software, and they could eventually use it to perform a virtual analysis before building machines.

"You can even simulate strange conditions; very fast or very high temperatures," says LMS International's Tom Boermans. "In real life, those tests are very expensive."

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