“One of our core technical advantages on the battery charger and wireless power enables quite a bit of range tolerance so if a robot is repeatedly trying to dock at a position they need tolerance – a lot of systems have tight tolerance, so in general we have several centimetres of flexibility and anywhere in a zone gives maximum charging power. The FCC wants worse case test so we had to show combination of power and distance produced the worst emissions,” said Waters.
WiBotic is also working on higher power wireless charging by combining multiple 300W systems together. For example a charging bay could have 300W transmitters chargers on three sides and a robot drives in for charging from all three simultaneously for high speed wireless charging.
The technology is also appealing to developers of autonomous robots used for sterilisation of hospitals during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“In the last three or four months we’ve received a dozen enquires from OEMs or end users who purchase a mobile base who will put payloads on that base so a lot are repurposing those bases for UV arrays for sterilisation,” said Matt Carlson, VP business development.
“It’s definitely been a kickstart for us,” said Waters. “Those UV bulbs are power hungry and consume more power than the base so you have a battery problem – some pull power from the base and that reduces the run time of the base while others add another battery on top of the base that needs charging. Wireless charging is good for that,” he said. “There are some interesting power problems for those applications.”