5. Power

Let's identify how your robot will be powered!

Most robots are mobile, meaning they are powered by a battery rather than tethered by a power cable connected to an outlet. Understanding power requirements for a robot can be understood by the amount of current and voltage required. Begin the robot design by documenting voltage and amperage requirements for motors, sensors, computers, and peripherals when choosing an appropriate battery. Whichever power option is used for the robot, ensure it provides enough amperage for the robot application. 

Internal Battery w/ External Charger

This type allows the robot to be completely mobile and portable. Popular battery options are Lead acid, LiPo, NiCAD, NiMH, and LiFePO4. The battery is charged using an external charger. More advanced configurations can have a docking system for the robot to dock with the charger automatically. Make note of the power requirements and what size battery. For example, you may require a 7.4v 2,500 mah LiPo battery, or a heavy duty 12v 10,000 mah battery.

AC-DC Power Adapter

This type requires the robot to be tethered to a power outlet. Power adapters generally do not provide enough amperage for servo-motors. If an AC-DC adapter is preferred, use a digital switching power supply with enough amperage to meet the robot's requirements. 

Battery Monitor

ARC includes a battery monitor that will disable I/O outputs to reduce power consumption on supported I/O controllers. By default, the battery monitor is configured for 7v to protect the safety of LiPo batteries. Lipo (lithium polymer) batteries must never be completely drained. Therefore, the battery monitor is default configured for their usage.

The battery monitor can be disabled in the connection control configuration. Please read the connection control manual for additional information.