Based on more than eight years of research at the University of Washington, WiBotic technology builds on the strengths of both inductive and resonant systems by incorporating the best of both. Our patented Adaptive Matching system constantly monitors relative antenna position and dynamically adjusts both hardware and firmware parameters to maintain maximum efficiency – delivering reliable charging, at high power levels, and across several centimeters of vertical, horizontal and angular offset.
That’s the secret sauce! With WiBotic, robots can opportunity charge while being productive and maximizing uptime.
Finally, new software and services from WiBotic will soon provide fleet-wide energy utilization analytics as well as individual battery charging recommendations based on the age and performance of every battery in the fleet. You’ll always know the exact State of Charge (SOC) for every battery. Coordinated networks of wireless charging stations allow robots to stay charged, minimizing downtime and reducing the overall cost of robot fleets.
All WiBotic wireless charging systems consist of four primary hardware components:
- Transmitter Unit
- Transmitter Antenna Coil
- Onboard Charger Unit
- Receive Antenna Coil
The Transmitter Unit uses any available power source (AC or DC) to generate a high frequency wireless power signal. The signal travels through a coaxial SMA cable to the Transmit Antenna Coil where it generates both electrical and magnetic fields. The coil can be mounted vertically in a wall station, horizontally in a drone landing pad (or floor mat), or in just about any other orientation to make it convenient for the robot as it arrives for a charge.
The Transmitter Unit recognizes any incoming robot equipped with an Onboard Charger Unit and Receiver Antenna Coil and automatically ramps up to deliver the right amount of energy. Conveyed through air, water or other non-conductive materials, the energy is then collected by the Receiver Antenna Coil on the robot and conveyed to the Onboard Charger. The Onboard Charger converts the signal back into a DC voltage and controls battery charging functions to safely replenish a wide range of batteries.
Supported battery chemistries include:
- Lithium Ion (LiIon)
- Lithium Polymer (LiPo)
- Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4)
- Lead Acid (LA, SLA)
- Nickle Metal Hydride (NMH)
To deliver wireless power, the Transmitter first checks to be sure a robot is within range. The system is so flexible that even robots with completely different battery voltages can share the same Transmitter Unit. It automatically recognizes each robot and adjusts charge parameters accordingly.
The components allow for extremely effective charging station deployment. The stations deliver power opportunistically to keep robots topped off and operating for long periods. This is much better than the outdated “full drain and recharge strategy” seen elsewhere.