Hardware

Fujitsu Triples Micro Fuel Cell Power

Posted 8 Jul 2005 at 18:11 UTC by steve Share This

According to a Fujitsu press release, the company has achieved a three-fold increase in the power output of methanol micro fuel cells. The new cell provides 5.4v at 700 ma using an 18cc methanol cartridge. They claim the unit has an energy density three time higher than a lithium polymer battery of the same size. Fujitsu Labs did the R & D work in cooperation with mobile phone company NTT DoCoMo. More photos and a block diagram of the operation can be found in a technical document (PDF format) on the NTT DoCoMo site. While intended for use with cell phones and laptops, the applications in personal robotics are obvious. We've reported before on micro fuel cells and why they seem to remain vaporware. Hopefully we'll see one become commercially available soon.


We're going to need a new hobby soon! , posted 9 Jul 2005 at 02:21 UTC by WhoPhlungPoo » (Journeyer)

I agree, the wait continues, I've been following fuel cells for over a decade, patiently waiting for the day I could go to the local electronics store, i.e. fry‛TM]s or similar outlet and purchase a miniature fuel cell to power my robots.

Everyday new microprocessor developments reduces the amount of power per CPU instruction, effective vision processing algorithms are becoming more readily available such as Intel's OpenCV and Evolution Robotics ERSP; we are also starting to see more efficient motor and actuator technology.

Eventually at some point in the not so distant future all of these new technologies will allow mobile robotics to reach critical mass, when this happens, we will all have to go find another interesting hobby to occupy our time because robots will be so common place in the home, the office and everywhere in-between.

Don't take Robots.net off your bookmarks just yet., posted 11 Jul 2005 at 14:54 UTC by dogsbody_d » (Master)

While you may well be right with what you say about the popularity and usefulness of robotics, we have been here before.

I see that there is still a keen hobby following for computers, radio, and cars...

Take it easy! It's all good!, posted 11 Jul 2005 at 16:57 UTC by The Swirling Brain » (Master)

Over the past few years there has been more and more robotics goodies and modules and other cool stuff appearing that's true. The thing is, hobby robotics is easier to do now than when I started. Why would anyone want to go back to the old days of building little things from resistors and transistors? The new stuff just makes things easier to build a better robot. I see biped robots everywhere now and robotic vacuums and all sorts of cool sensors and cpu boards and even whole premade robot systems for the DIY guys or hackers. It wasn't easy to come up with that stuff just a few short years back. It's gotten easier to make robots and I figure it will get easier and easier as time goes by. Perhaps we will get to the point where we can even start really making useful robots and not just robots that bump into walls and navigate a super simple stupid course. Perhaps even make a REAL robot that gets a can from the fridge, open it for us, and drive to the store to get some more for us, clean the carpet and even carry on a decent conversation. I see things getting better and easier for robotics hobbiests, not getting worse and harder to do. It's all good! So take it easy and ride that robotics revolution wave with confidence. The future looks so bright even shades aren't enough!

aah, the best chestnut in the world..., posted 12 Jul 2005 at 11:06 UTC by dogsbody_d » (Master)

I for one, would welcome a beer.

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