Friday, May 24, 2024

Autonomous Wireless Charging Solution For Robots

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  • The wireless charging technology reduces wear and tear on physical connection points and allows multiple charging of robotic fleets
  • High-efficiency converter from Vicor generates regulated output without drop in voltage

As robotic fleets reshape logistic, delivery and inspection industries, the demand for more efficient and flexible charging solutions is increasing while the feasibility for these fleets to be managed manually and recharged by a 24/7 rotation of personnel is decreasing. This calls for a step towards enhanced autonomy, whereby normal operations can be sustained without human intervention.

This is where WiBotic comes in.

Multiple wireless charging

WiBotic is a provider of wireless charging and power optimisation solutions that are integral to a rapidly growing ecosystem of aerial, mobile, marine and industrial robots. Its range of solutions enable robots and unmanned vehicles (UVs) to be recharged through wireless charging stations, thus eliminating the need for human operators to physically connect the robots to chargers. Additionally, the wireless charging technology reduces wear and tear on physical connection points, trip hazards from power cords and floor-mounted charging stations, and the space requirement for dedicated charging rooms

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Such wireless charging solutions are designed to facilitate “many-to-many” operation, whereby multiple robots (including from different manufacturers) can charge from the same transmitter at different times – even if the robots have different battery chemistries, voltages and charging current. Alternatively, an entire fleet of robots can move between a network of transmitters in different locations within a warehouse.

Highly efficient power supply

Vicor’s  Zero-Voltage Switching (ZVS) regulator is built for powering wireless charging.
The Vicor 48V VI Chip PRM Regulator is a 400W high-efficiency converter that operates from a 36 – 75V input to generate a regulated output. The device powers the adaptive matching transmitter onboard the WiBotic TR-110 wireless charging station, which feeds power wirelessly to the robot’s or UV’s onboard receiver. The PRM accepts 48V from an AC-DC power supply and the output voltage is adaptively controlled and trimmed from approximately 20 – 55V.

The Vicor PRM enables consistent, high-efficiency conversion across the full range of impedances, flexibly supporting ‘full charge’ and ‘trickle charge’ modes with no significant drop in efficiency at low power levels.

This high-efficiency conversion capability can be achieved in maximum device temperature of 40 degrees Celsius – 45 degrees Celsius, thus helping to neutralize thermal management constraints across the full power range.

WiBotic and Vicor together deliver a dynamic charging solution that enables the next generation of autonomy – with no power constraints to hold them back for achieving new levels of functionality and productivity.


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