Software-Defined Wireless Power System Charges Autonomous Robots

April 09, 2018 by Paul Shepard

Waypoint Robotics has launched its latest product in front of supply chain and manufacturing industry leaders gathered in Atlanta for MODEX 2018 — the largest supply chain expo in North and South America.

Waypoint will be on hand at Booth #C2549 during the April 9-12 expo to officially launch EnZone, a wireless power system for autonomous mobile robots, designed specifically to make robots easier to setup and use.

EnZone is more than just an average charging dock — its high-power wireless connection allows for "opportunity charging," giving robots the capability to charge anywhere and any time they are paused during a regular work cycle. This capability means robots can kept operating for longer periods of time, without having to be taken out of service for charging.

But EnZone is about so much more than battery charging. The Waypoint EnZone enables on-demand wireless power for payloads such as robot arms, conveyors, or other equipment. By supplying power to these systems only where needed, Waypoint can reduce the cost, space, weight, and maintenance required for cobot mobile manipulation systems.

Benefits specific to Waypoint's EnZone Wireless Charging Dock:

  • Fully autonomous system — Robots charge themselves when they are in the EnZone — no human intervention is required.
  • EnZone has "many to many" architecture — Any robot can charge from any EnZone or one robot can move between multiple EnZones.
  • EnZone is dynamically configurable via a software API — You can adjust the charge rate for each charging cycle to charge fast when you need to, or slower when you have more time. This allows for optimizing configurations for increased battery life and better overall power management across the robot fleet.
  • EnZone uses WiBotic's Adaptive Matching technology — it provides consistent wireless power even if the robot doesn't dock in the exact same position each time. The system is flexible enough to allow the robots and EnZone to be substantially misaligned in the vertical, horizontal or angular directions without a decrease in power transfer.
  • EnZone is a software-defined power system and is designed to work with any robot. If you have a fleet of different robots, even with different battery chemistry or voltages, the Waypoint EnZone can be used with all of them.

Also being launched at MODEX is the Waypoint Whistle, a common sense robot controller that empowers today's workforce by putting a robot at their beck and call.