Wirelessly Charging Our Robots

 
#1

User-inserted image

My sister got a new Samsung Galaxy Edge the other day and today we were talking about the ability to charge the phone wirelessly which she never heard of before. Anyway, it got me thinking about using this relatively new technology for our robots.

Has anyone implemented this into any of your projects, and what are your thoughts on the possible pitfalls of using this tech on high powered battery packs? Could they take a very long time to charge, is it safe to charge high amp batteries this way, is it even possible with the kinds of battery we use or is this for mobile/cell phone size batteries at the moment.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this as I'm starting to see more and more wireless charging kits available online, and they are not that expensive. Also thinking this would be a good idea for auto docking.

#2

I use this technology to charge a Sonic toothbrush. I do not think it is strong enough to charge large capacity batteries like we use on our robots.

#3

Good thoughts - looking forward to the responses.
I was also curious about charging while my JD robot is on. Even though I know it says to make sure power is switched off when charging, I was wondering if there's any ability to have the battery plugged in while working out programs. This is motivated by those long coding sessions where JD is sitting there "on" while I try different things and then I end up running out of battery. Would be great if while I'm working/debugging he could be plugged into power.
Thanks!
Jon

#4

@Doc.

I found a wireless charging kit while looking online that charges a 12v battery at 600ma and I know there are some LiPo and Nimh chargers charge at 800ma which made me wonder if this would be a fesable idea. But like you say about the toothbrush, I've only really seen wireless charging on small device batteries, so you maybe right, but I know this tech is coming to laptops quite soon (if it hasn't done do already).

@JonPointer.

Yes the not charging while running thing I believe is LiPo battrery limitation and I also believe that charging batteries like Nimh packs can be charged while a device is running (providing the device is not using more amps than what the charger is giving out), although this probably won't help with your JD, but may be okay for bench testing. Maybe someone could confirm or correct me on that.

#5

Steve G In the land of the 7.5 LI-po, you may have discovered something with those 600, 800 mah charging circuits that might work. If, there is some type of power management control board that can also be connected so that the LI-po packs won't be overcharged.

#6

Current wireless charging is quite slow and inefficient. It takes my Nexus 7 twice as long to charge wirelessly vs wired and I have a high output charger. I would wait until this new spec comes to market and look at it then:http://www.cio.com/article/2940138/mobile/wireless-charging-gets-faster-thanks-to-new-qi-power-spec.html

Alan

#7

I'm surprised this technology doesn't have a tendency to wipe out memory. I suppose it's because they don't use magnetic memory devices, but still. I have to wonder about long term effects the magnetic field on the components.

But then again what is "long term" these days? We tend to go for the latest thing so much that long term has little meaning these days. I know I do. Like now. I'm deep into doing some things with using a separate program for data modification and alphabetizing the information in the Speech Recognition control such that sets of phrases and scripts can be stored independently of projects. But I have a full sized Femisapien heading my way that I want to control and I know that it will be an instant total distraction when it arrives. Ooooo ... shiny!

#8

@JonPointer
I think what's really needed there is an adapter socket in the body of the JD itself. Something that, when plugged in, disconnects the battery and powers JD from a separate power source. At any rate, that's where I'm headed with it.

I'm also working with Anthony on the possibility of having a somewhat longer body for JD that would have a battery compartment to provide the extra room for relatively easy change out of the battery as desired as another alternative. One or two on charge and one in play. I'm thinking that extra room will also provide the place needed for the adapter plug-in.

Then there is the possibility of a larger battery as well. Though then weight might become a real consideration. Not to mention the elevated center of gravity with a longer body. We'll see. Experimentation is what it's all about, right?

#9

@Alan.

I had a feeling that charging times using the current 5w standard might be a slow process so that definitely is a draw back for now. Thanks for the link on the QI article. Very interesting read, and I'm with you on holding out until the 15w WPC wireless spec is released and becomes more commonplace. Hopefully it won't be to long of a wait.

@WBS.

Not being an expert on this tech, but I tend to agree with you about the magnetic resonance fields having an impact on the devices themselves. I can only guess that the circuitry on the transmit and receiver boards do some kind of magic in that regard to reduce any possible damage, or as you say, maybe the devices that incorperate wireless charging are designed differently, maybe have some kind of shielding or something.

I still think this would be a great way for charging our robots, but as @RobotDoc quite rightly said, to use this system would need some kind of power management for sure, although I can't see that being too difficault to implement.

#10

(Moved to another thread.)

Ron