Speecys Develops Fuel-Cell-Powered Robot

June 30, 2005 by Jeff Shepard

Speecys Corp. (Tokyo, Japan) announced that it has developed a humanoid billed as the world's first robot powered by easy-to-replace, environmentally friendly, fuel cell batteries. The company will begin selling the 50 cm (20 in) tall, 4.2 kg (9.24 lb) robot carrying a built-in hydrogen cylinder. The Speecys-FC robot is priced at ¥2.5 million ($22,730) a unit, five times as pricy as a previous version run by conventional nickel-metal hydride batteries. The company aims to sell 10 units of the Speecys-FC robot a year for research and display purposes.

"Fuel cells are a promising material as the source of energy for operating robots in the future," stated former Sony robot engineer and Speecys CEO Tomoaki Kasuga. "We believe that it is more suitable for (humanoid) robots to get fuel in cartridges as if they were having meals rather than to get batteries recharged."