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Wirelessly Charging Our Robots

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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.

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#1  
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.
#2  
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
United Kingdom
#3  
@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.
#4  
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  
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!
#7  
@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?
United Kingdom
#8  
@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.
#9  
(Moved to another thread.)

Ron
#10  
(Moved to another thread.)

Ron
United Kingdom
#11  
@Mathsprof.

This thread is really about discussing wireless charging specifically, so a new tread would have been best, but I'll try to answer your question.;)

On a computer, a USB 1.0 and 2.0 port will give you 5V at 500mah, and a on USB 3.0 this goes up to 900mAh, so the USB bus can charge small single cell Li-ion battery packs, but there is a danger of overloading the USB port when connecting too many devices. Charging a device that will draw 500mA together with other loads connected will exceed the port’s current limit, leading to a voltage drop and a possible system failure. To prevent overload, some hosts include current-limiting circuits that shut down the supply when overdrawn. I don't think that connecting a boost converter will help as it will only be receiving the current from the USB port.

So if the heads you intend to use servos ect, then I wouldn't advise connecting it to a USB port. Maybe a high amp mains adapter would be better, but again, it all depends what kind of electronics the heads have and what current each of these electrical component needs.

I hope that helps a little.:)
#12  
Steve,

Thanks for your info. Yes, I see now it would be best to start another thread, and so I'll delete my two postings above and start anew.

Ron
United Kingdom
#13  
@Ron.

No problem buddy. It just best that way incase if someone is looking for similar information as yourself, they might not find it under this thread title when they do a forum search. Anyway I hope you find the information I provided useful.:)

Steve.