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Nowadays most ad hoc mobile devices heavily depend on the performance of batteries. Optimizing the power consumption is a very crucial issue. To maximize the lifetime of mobile ad hoc network, the power consumption rate of each node must be evenly distributed. In this paper we present a novel power-aware routing algorithm based on mobile agents to deal with the routing mechanism in the energy-critical environments. A few mobile agents move in the network and communicate with each node. They collect the network information to build the global information matrix of nodes. The routing algorithm chooses a shortest path if all nodes in all possible routes have sufficient battery capacity. When the battery capacity of some nodes cannot meet a predefined threshold, the corresponding routing schema through these nodes will be ignored. Additionally, we compare the performance of different types of power-relation routing algorithms in simulation environment. The results show that the network has better energy consumption balance with the less network traffic and the better load balancing. Furthermore, this approach has better robustness to ensure the survivability of ad hoc network.