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Energy optimization software for wireless charging robot fleets

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By Nick Flaherty


Wireless charging specialist WiBotic has launched an energy management software package specifically designed for customers operating large robot fleets.

Commander is an intuitive platform used to visualize, configure, and optimize the delivery of energy throughout a fleet of robots, drones or any battery-powered device using the WiBotic charging systems.  It is also a robust API, giving operators the opportunity to fully control the charging function as a part of each robot’s daily workflow.

“This year marks an inflection point for robot adoption, from mobile robots to aerial drones, even extending to underwater and space-based robots,” said Ben Waters, CEO and co-founder of WiBotic. “Organizations that have evaluated small numbers of robots in the past are now realizing ROI, and are pivoting to scale-up. Commander was created to address these efforts by providing our customers with unparalleled insight into how their robots consume energy, how to minimize robot downtime and predict failures before they happen; even how to evaluate and compare performance across different battery types and vendors.”

Commander provides a bird’s eye view of the fleet’s wireless charging infrastructure, including a visual display of charger availability and status, and historical information on which chargers are being utilized more than others. WiBotic customers can now easily determine optimal charger placement to maximize opportunity charging and can set up personalized notifications when a robot is not charging properly so the problem can be quickly addressed.

With the Commander API, WiBotic customers can also dramatically increase the lifespan of lithium batteries. This is achieved through dynamic adjustments to variables such as charge voltage and current based upon each robot’s schedule. For example, users can setup a scheme to charge quickly during the day when robot uptime is critical, and slower at night to maximize overall battery lifetime.

Commander allows a common wireless charging infrastructure for all robots in a fleet, regardless of battery chemistry, voltage, or charge speed requirements, with auto-discovery of all transmitters and robots for immediate visibility, so there is no time-consuming manual setup.

The API provides aggregate detailed information on every charge cycle for every robot, allowing battery performance analysis to better predict failures and avoid downtime and adjusts the charge settings for groups of robots and push those updates to the fleet automatically.

Benchmarking battery performance across different chemistries and vendors to help customers make more informed decisions over time, and the Commander software can be used on premise for environments where IT security is crucial but can also be ported to any cloud using the docker container’s RESTful API.  All data seen in Commander can be accessed by calling the API, which means that if it is visible in Commander, it can be tied into the rest of a customer’s workflow.

Commander has been evaluated by WayPoint Robotics, a leading developer and manufacturer of fully autonomous mobile robots, which launched its EnZone charging system using WiBotic technology in 2018. “As we deploy larger fleets of robots, we prioritize battery charging as a point of optimization,” said Jason Walker, CEO of Waypoint. “Robot availability and battery lifespan can be maximized if we know when, where, and how fast to charge; and Commander gives us that visibility and control. Commander also makes deployment and maintenance of multiple EnZones faster and easier than ever before.”

www.wibotics.com

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