Researchers at Stanford University have reportedly made a breakthrough in the development of wireless charging technology for industrial robots.
In a paper published in Nature Electronics, electrical engineer Shanhui Fan, and graduate student Sid Assawaworrarit, have demonstrated a technology that could soon be scaled up to wirelessly recharge AMRs and AGVs as they move around in warehouses and on factory floors.
It could also one day be used to to power an electric car moving down the road.
“This is a significant step toward a practical and efficient system for wirelessly re-charging robots,” said Fan.
“We’re already within the range of practical usefulness.”
The development builds on work from three years ago, when the researchers developed a wireless charger that transmitted electricity even as the distance to the receiver changed.
However, this system only transmitted 10% of the power flowing through it and thus wasn’t deemed efficient enough to be practical.
Now, Fan and Assawaworrarit claim to have boosted the system’s wireless-transmission efficiency to 92%, which means it can wirelessly transmit 10W of electricity over a distance of 2-3ft.
The only limiting factor, Fan said, will be how fast the robot’s batteries can absorb all the power.
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