Waypoint Robotics, which was formerly known as Stanley Robotics, launched at MODEX 2018 its EnZone wireless charging system for autonomous mobile robots. EnZone is based on the Adaptive Wireless Charging standard from WiBotic, a Seattle, Wash.-based startup that partnered with Waypoint.
Unless they’re tethered, robots don’t typically have great battery life. So improving the battery life for robots is a must to keep up with customer demands. Introducing EnZone is a smart move by Waypoint, giving it a differentiator in a sector that’s becoming more competitive each day.
EnZone enables what Waypoint calls “opportunity charging.” This means a mobile robot a company is using can charge anywhere and anytime it has a break in its regular work cycle.
EnZone allows robots to operate longer without having to take it out of service for charging. This, of course, means the robots will be more productive.
How EnZone Works
EnZone is based on WiBotic’s Adaptive Wireless Charging standard. Waypoint said EnZone is a software-defined wireless power system that works with any robot. If you have a fleet of different robots, even with different battery chemistry or voltages, the EnZone works with them all.
EnZone is configurable via a software API. This allows users to adjust the charge rate for each charging cycle to charge fast when you need to or slower when you have more time.
Waypoint said EnZone also enables on-demand wireless power for payloads such as robot arms, conveyors, or other equipment. By supplying power to these systems only where needed, this can reduce the cost, space, weight, and maintenance required for cobot mobile manipulation systems.
“Think back to Physics 101,” WiBotic CEO Ben Waters writes on the company’s site. “You may recall that alternating electrical current creates an electromagnetic field as it flows through a conductor. If a second conductor is placed alongside the first, the electromagnetic field will induce electrical current in the second conductor as well.
“By coiling the wire, and changing the number of coils between the primary and secondary wire, electrical energy of one voltage can be converted into another voltage. This is the principle behind electrical transformers — and is essentially the same concept behind wireless inductive charging.”
Engineering the Future of Robotics
Register for the Robotics Summit and Showcase (May 23-24, Boston) by April 20 and save 20% with early bird registration. Learn from and network with the best minds in robotics and unlock the keys to developing next-gen commercial robotics systems.
Waypoint EnZone at Robotics Summit and Showcase
Waypoint will be exhibiting (booth 305) and speaking at the Robotics Summit and Showcase (May 23-24 in Boston). Walker will be featured in the “Autonomy & Opportunity” along with Jason Derenick, Vice President of Technology at Exyn Technologies, and Brad Powers, Chief Roboticist, Locus Robotics.
The panel will cover the gradual increase in the levels of autonomy and the the capacity for systems to move or perform tasks without human intervention. It is important for developers of robotics and automation technology to understand the various forms by which autonomy can be manifested, and what currently is technically possible or soon will be.
Waypoint’s flagship mobile robot – Vector – is a ROS native, omni-directional, mobile robot; perfect for the laboratory or factory floor. Vector comes fully equipped and ready for use — a truly turnkey autonomous robot.
The Robotics Summit is an educational event that addresses the technical issues involved with developing the next generation of commercial robots and intelligent systems. Register by April 20 and save 20% with early bird registration. Learn from and network with the best minds in robotics and unlock the keys to developing next-gen commercial robotics systems.