RoboPads Charge System

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Introducing the RoboPads Charge System from Roboteq

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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.

patent pending

 

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. 

pads in to out 

Approaching

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.

 

Charging 

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.

 

Disconnecting

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.

 

Fit, Lightweight

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.

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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.

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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.

 
charge tracks 

 

Superior to All Other Charge Systems

 

System Current Capacity Contact Pressure Contact Detection Floor Clearance Footprint Reliability Cost
 RoboPads  Highest  Highest Yes  High Smallest High Low
 Spring Contact  High  Poor No  Low Low Good Low
 Wireless Charge  Low N/A Yes Low High Poor High

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. 

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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

 

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.

roboteq robot products

 

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 showed little wear even after 100,000 cycles.  lifetest400 opt

 

 

Orderable Products

Name Description Product Page
RPKIT90-100 RoboPad Kit including Base and Collector, 90mm wide, 100A Product details
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