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The Ecological Badminton Robot

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Researcher Wim Symens and his badminton robot

Belgian researchers have created the first robot ever to play badminton.

Credit: Engineering and Technology Magazine

Researchers at the Flanders' Mechatronics Technology Center have developed software for conducting an energy efficiency analysis of mechatronic systems and optimizing energy efficiency in machine design. The researchers have tested the software on the first robot ever to play badminton.

Researcher Wim Symens reports that his team was able to identify areas where most energy was being wasted and make changes that reduced energy consumption by 50 percent. Symens says that this type of energy efficiency analysis is of interest to industry. For example, PICANOL adapted the software to its weaving machine production line and was able to reduce energy consumption 10-15 percent.

The researchers say the software also could help engineers in other industries, and they could use the tool even before machines are built by performing a virtual analysis at an early stage.

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

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