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• Murata Girl

MURATAGIRL-headersmUnveiled in 2005, Murata Manufacturing’s bicycling robot mascot Murata Boy is so popular that his legion of fans have demanded they build him a companion. ”Why isn’t there a Murata Girl?” they asked, and so development began in late 2007, and finally on September 23rd 2008, Murata unveiled Murata Seiko-chan (Murata Girl).

Supposedly the paternal cousin of Murata Boy, Murata Girl rides a unicycle instead of a bike. She is 50cm tall and weighs 5kg. Her outward appearance, meant to evoke a tomboyish kindergartner, was designed by a trio of female employees who brought a feminine touch to the drawing board.

Murata Girl maintains her balance in similar fashion to Murata Boy; using gyroscopic sensors to detect minute shifts in her posture. Then, a fly wheel in her chest revolves to compensate for any changes that might cause her to fall. She can move forwards, backwards, and avoid obstacles, but she sometimes falls down. So far, she can travel at a rate of 15cm a second and can balance on a 2cm wide beam. Development continues to improve her functionality.

Besides demonstrating Murata Manufacturing’s electronic components, Murata Girl serves to broaden interest in the sciences amongst students young and old alike. Several engineers working at the company were inspired to apply after seeing Murata Boy.

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Image credits:
Impress Robot Watch | Engadget | Akihabara News | Robofes | Aving

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