Concept: Seattle-based startup WiBiotic has received CE (Conformité Européene) Mark approval for two of its robotic wireless charging systems OC-301 and OC-251. They use the company’s TR-301 high-power transmitter to recharge larger drones, mobile robots, and marine vehicles from a landing pad or a wall station.
Nature of Disruption: WiBotic’s TR-301 features flanges for simple wall mounting, an LCD monitor for communications, and LED indicator lights to indicate the charging status. A normal transmitter antenna can be connected to TR-301 with a short coaxial cable allowing for a variety of mounting options. WiBiotic combines both inductive charging and magnetic resonance methods for wireless charging. Inductive charging uses electromagnetic induction to transfer power wirelessly, whereas magnetic resonance relies on oscillating time-varying magnetic fields generated by alternating current passing through a coil that functions as a power source. WiBiotic, by combining both the methods, decreases the charging time and maximizes the efficiency. The company claims that the onboard chargers are compliant with most battery chemistries. The OC-301 can be programmed from 0-60V and 0-30A, while the OC-251 can be programmed from 0-12A. Using their auxiliary DC power input, the onboard chargers can allow both manual plugin charging and autonomous contact-based charging.
Outlook: WiBiotic claims that certifications, particularly for charging, electrical, and mechanical safety, can become bottlenecks for developers of robots and drones as they move out of the prototype stage to production. This is where WiBiotic’s wireless charging solutions can help robots and drone manufacturers to get certifications for their complete systems. The startup boasts that it has benefited from the heightened e-commerce demand during the COVID-19 pandemic, with retailers using its wireless charging systems to charge different types of robots in fulfillment centers. The CE mark can eventually help WiBiotic to market its products across geographies for applications in various sectors.