WiBotic Inc., which specializes in wireless power systems for robots, today announced that it has partnered with development platform maker Ubiquity Robotics Inc. Users of the Magni robot will be able to program it to navigate to a wireless charging station, said the companies.
Seattle-based WiBotic said the availability of its wireless charging kit and fleet power-optimization software for Magni will enable it to operate fully unattended for a wide variety of applications. The company’s products are intended to serve the rapidly growing ecosystem of aerial, mobile, and marine robots in a variety of industries. Last month, WiBotic raised Series A funding of $5.7 million.
San Jose, Calif.-based Ubiquity Robotics said it supplies mobile robots based on the Robot Operating System (ROS) at affordable prices to developers worldwide. The Magni platform can carry a 100kg (220.4-lb.) payload in any International Building Code-compliant commercial space. It is the basis for numerous service robots for disinfection, warehouses, mining, agriculture, and airport, said the company.
WiBotic provides charging kit for Magni
The WiBotic kit consists of an AC-powered, free-standing portable transmitter base station that can be located anywhere autonomous robot charging is needed. Additional components, including a wireless power receiver antenna and onboard charger (OC) circuit are fitted to the Magni robot and connected to the battery using supplied mounting hardware. The process requires only a few minutes per robot, making it simple to install on new robots or as a retrofit package for existing Magni customers.
After installation, the robot simply needs to navigate to within a few centimeters of the transmitter base station for charging to begin. Charge voltage and speed (current) are pre-programmed but are fully adjustable through WiBotic’s graphical user interface or application programming interfaces. ROS drivers are also available.
In addition, given the many-to-many capability of the WiBotic power system, multiple robots can share a single base station or multiple base stations throughout a facility to optimize power delivery across an entire fleet of robots, said the company.
“Ubiquity Robotics has developed an extremely cost-effective and functional robot for a wide range of applications,” stated Ben Waters, CEO of WiBotic. “Their customers now have access to an automatic charging system that reduces or eliminates the labor and maintenance costs typically associated with manual battery charging or battery swapping. Our fleet power-management software also provides visibility into robot uptime and productivity, allowing robots to complete more work while minimizing charging downtime.”
“Magni’s unique combination of size, payload adaptability, and support for ROS have made it popular for applications ranging from factory and warehouse materials conveyance to chemical and UV disinfection.” said David Crawley, CEO of Ubiquity. “As with any robot, though, its value isn’t fully realized if users have to constantly deal with the recharging process. WiBotic’s system will cut the cord for Magni, making it completely self-sufficient for the first time.”
Charging kit now available
WiBotic said it will sell its charging kit will to new and existing Magni customers in various vertical markets. Different versions of the kit with different power levels are available, depending upon how quickly the robot must be charged.
More information on the wireless power kit for Magni can be found in the “Products” portion of WiBotic’s website, where customized charging kits for other robots and drones are listed.
Robot OEMs or end users that want to use wireless power for other products can contact WiBotic at [email protected] to discuss its integration process.