RoboPads Charge System
Introducing the RoboPads Charge System from Roboteq
Roboteq's RoboPads charging contact system offers a precision, high current charging solution for mobile robots and Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV). It is composed of a charge contacts base that is typically affixed on the floor, and a collector unit with extendable contacts, mounted on the robot. RoboPads utilize magnets to control the connection and disconnection action automatically, while using no additional power from the mobile systems batteries. The base’s ultra-low profile, and the collector’s extension range, allows for far more compact charging configurations over any other charge system.
Totally Passive - Works like Magnetic Magic
The RoboPad charging contact system operates on the principles of magnetic attraction and repulsion. High force magnets are staggered with opposing polarities in the charging base and charging contacts such that a strong force of attraction or repulsion occurs depending on where the collector pads are positioned relative to the fixed base.
While away from the base, the collector pads are attracted up by magnets built installed inside the collector unit. The robot travels safely with a high floor clearance.
When reaching the base, should for any reason the pads not be fully retracted, a first level of strong repulsive magnets will push the collector pads in.
When arriving over the center of the charge base. the collector pads are aligned with strong attractive magnets located in the base. The pads extend instantly and make a very solid electrical connection between collector and base pads.
When the robot moves again, the collector pads go above a set of strong repulsive magnets causing an instant retraction.
The robot can then continue its course with the pads safely retracted and a high floor clearance.
Superior to All Other Charge Systems
Today's batteries charging on mobile robots mostly relies on the century old system of electric contacts at the end of springs, first patented in 1899.
Spring loaded collector contacts drag or hang underneath the mobile robot in use and have a low floor clearance and tight height tolerance as they must physically slide up a ramp on the base: if they are mounted too low, they will touch the floor or hit the side of the base. If they are mounted too high, they will have weak spring pressure or not make contact at all. They also have a high wear rate over time because the constant sliding action of the contacts over the charging pads.
Wireless Charging are complex, heavy, bulky and expensive systems with nowhere near the capacity of large copper contacts that are physically pressing against one another.
The magnetic action of the RoboPads is almost instantaneous and maintains a constant strong pressure of the contacts against the charging pads due to magnetic attraction. Unlike spring loaded contacts, the RoboPads' pressure increases as the pads extend. Extension force remains constant over the life of the pads and will always provide the maximum charging current and less residual heating effects than conventional spring-loaded systems.
Thanks to their powerful magnets, RoboPads achieve high contact pressure without the need for bulky and heavy springs. As a result, they carry the highest current for their relative size. The retractable pads allow for maximum floor clearance while making it possible for the fixed base to remain very thin. When mounted on the side, RoboPads' retracted collector can be made flush with the Robot's body.
Turn Charger On only when Needed
Switches built into the Collector pads and into the Charge Base let both the Robot AND the charger know when the pads are extended and in physical contact with each other. The charger can remain off and be turned on only when needed.
Optional CAN Transceiver for Tight Charger-BMS Cooperation
Robopads are available with optional built-in optical transceivers. When the pads are aligned, CANbus signals are joined wirelessly between the collector and the base, allowing the Robot's Battery Management System to throttle the Charger according to the battery's State of Charge and temperature, resulting in faster, safer, and more optimal charging.
Designed to Keep Your Robot on the Move
Mobile robots only pay for themselves when they are moving. RoboPads help maximize their value by allowing fast, high-current charging that minimize their idle time. The low-cost, ultra-low profile of the charge base, makes it easy and cost effective to place charge stations, along the robot's path, at every location where the robot normally pauses for more than a few seconds.
Most commonly, the floor mounted charging pads are placed in a location either along the route, or at specific waypoints in the path of the robot. The robot will then stop at this specific location and connect to the charger for the required time. Another encountered arrangement is to place the charging pads in a protected parking location that is off the main path to allow other robots to travel unimpeded.
To charge, the robot or AGV simply drives over the charging pads on the floor. When the robot’s collector pads are aligned with the base, they instantly extend. By detecting the charge voltage directly, or monitoring the built-in sensor in the charging contacts, the robot can determine when to stop. Current can then flow to the battery to charge it.
Scalable from Small to Huge
RoboPads' design is totally scalable to make very small to very large charge pads, depending on the robot's size and current requirements. Roboteq's initial product offering is a mid-size system capable of 100A Max (75A continuous). Other versions will be available in 2019. Or they can be tailor made to user's specific requirements.
Dependable Over and Over
RoboPads are made of highly durable ABS plastic with flame retardant. Integral rare-earth magnets are securely mounted internally providing a smooth and accurate extension and retraction. In accelerated life tests RoboPads reached over 1'800'000 cycles!
Part of Roboteq's Solution for Mobile Robots
RoboPads is part of a complete system of AGV or Mobile Robot components available from Roboteq. From a line of single and dual channel motor controllers, to complete power management solutions, Roboteq can provide additional solutions for your project.