Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 24

Thread: Smart Batteries

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Chicago Illinois
    Posts
    682
    Images
    174
    Rep Power
    81

    Smart Batteries

    Hey all,

    I wanted to post about the company Inspired Energy that makes advanced battery packs. I saw their stuff at a trade show awhile back and I loved it. You can actually communicate with the battery packs to pull information such as; power drain, power left, estimated time left from average current draw so far, estimated time until full charge is reached during charging. All of this stuff is really useful in robotics. If you read through this product spec sheet you'll see what I mean. Look at page 13 for a listing of function calls.

    I have long thought that this would be a great advancement for robotics if people were to build controllers that could interface these batteries to the systems that we use. Mini-computers / Bioloid / Serializer / Hitec / etc.

    What do you think? Some of you in here are very advanced developers and I'm curious if you think you would experiment with these batteries? You could create a homebot that knows it's time to start looking for it's dock, or at least inform his owner "I'm tired! I need electrons!", or have a display that tells you how long you have to wait to finish recharging... One problem in robotics is that many systems don't have much knowledge about their own power supply. I see this as a nice solution.

    PS: Dave from Inspired Energy wanted me to mention that they have recently come out with a new battery, the PG3665 , that is designed for higher voltage & current draw users like us. (Here is their product listing page)

  2. Re: Smart Batteries

    I would be a lot more interested if they included the prices on their website.

    I added a really simple version of this to Seeker 2x - basically, I feed the raw Li-Poly battery voltage through a resistor divider and into one of the A/D ports of the ATmega128. This gives me a very good idea of the voltage remaining in the battery, which I can display on the 7-segment LED as a capacity value (0-9)...

    - Jon

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Chicago Illinois
    Posts
    682
    Images
    174
    Rep Power
    81

    Re: Smart Batteries

    If I recall I think that many of the batteries were between $79-$149 ish....

    Not cheap, but not too bad for serious developers either.

  4. #4

    Re: Smart Batteries

    Hi All,
    Dave Baggaley from Inspired Energy here. (I'm new to the chat community so please be gentle with me.)

    Many thanks for the lead-in Matt.

    IE is a small company (55 people total) based in N. Florida & we design & build smart battery packs. All our stuff is desgined & built by us right here - soup to nuts - & our business model is ONshore INsourcing. We don't outsource our stuff offshore, so if you need to speak with the guy who wrote our firmware or designed the battery we'll put him right on the phone to answer your tech. queries. (We're certainly not the lowest cost batteries, but we have other advantages!)

    We currently sell around 10% of our products into robotic applications & we have a number of reasons why we don't publish prices on our website....

    ... Although we do accept single-piece orders we're not really a consumer operation. Basically our business is to design & build smart batteries for OEMs to buy in volume.
    ... We also are not keen for our competitors to see all our pricing.
    ... But more than anything we like to establish a dialogue (yes I'm an Expat Brit & still spell things the old fashioned way) with our customers because we prefer to offer guidance & advice & we like to learn more about where our products are being deployed.

    I too like to buy stuff by pointing & clicking outside business hours so I recognize the advantages offered by this method but for now its not where we want to take our company - hence the old-school approach.

    Now to another topic that John mentioned - fuel gauging. Yes it can be done by monitoring the voltage & interpreting where you are on the discharge voltage curve.
    This will yeild results much like cellphone fuel gauging which is ideal for many applications.
    However as the battery ages, the overall discharge voltage drops & so a fuel gauge based on absolute voltage won't know if it is at 10% state of charge on a brand new battery, or 50% state of charge on an old one.
    When you're fuel gauging to ensure that your robot maximises its work time, but still returns to the recharge station reliably without running out of battery power this is where the difference becomes key - especially as the battery ages.

    Hope this helps - if you have any questions please don't hesitate to get in touch.
    "Old-school" phone is 352 472 4855 x12 or email me at [email protected]

    Cheers,
    Dave B

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Chicago Illinois
    Posts
    682
    Images
    174
    Rep Power
    81

    Re: Smart Batteries

    Hey Dave,

    Thanks for stopping in. I've been shilling for you guys ever since I saw the display at Robonexus I really think that smart batteries will be a great addition to robotics systems. Integration is just a matter of time IMHO.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA Area
    Posts
    5,341
    Rep Power
    173

    Re: Smart Batteries

    Dave,

    Welcome aboard, and well-writ! I like your philosophy, and will definitely have a look at your offerings in the immediate future.

  7. #7

    Re: Smart Batteries

    Hi Dave!

    I am thoroughly impressed with your company's core philosophy and the products it offers. I was wondering if someone out there was working on something like this!

    My own power implementation is rather crude and I think smart batteries like these would have helped simplify the design greatly. I would love to play around with batteries like these, especially with the intelligent firmware. I'm definitely keeping an eye on this...
    Last edited by archcvd; 04-22-2008 at 02:47 PM.
    It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring. --Carl Sagan

  8. #8

    Re: Smart Batteries

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt View Post
    What do you think? Some of you in here are very advanced developers and I'm curious if you think you would experiment with these batteries? You could create a homebot that knows it's time to start looking for it's dock, or at least inform his owner "I'm tired! I need electrons!", or have a display that tells you how long you have to wait to finish recharging...
    Oh, I would love to experiment with these batteries. W.A.L.T.E.R. is currently setup for all 7.2V operation and it looks like standard NiMH batteries might not be enough to power him. I have two 7.2V @ 2800 mAH battery packs powering him right now - one for electronics only, and one for motors and servos. I'd like to add a third battery just for servos.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt View Post
    One problem in robotics is that many systems don't have much knowledge about their own power supply. I see this as a nice solution.
    So true!

    8-Dale
    I can handle complexity. It's the simple things that confound me.
    Do everything in moderation, ESPECIALLY, moderation..
    Sometimes the only way to win, is not to play.. -- Stephen Falken

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Jupiter
    Posts
    238
    Rep Power
    39

    Re: Smart Batteries

    I support the batteries i think there pretty cool from what ive seen... id love to use them in one of my bots as well.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Weedsport NY
    Posts
    502
    Images
    9
    Rep Power
    52

    Re: Smart Batteries

    3.1.1. Nominal Voltage The battery nominal operating voltage is 10.8V. I like the sound of that being a 1HV owner.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Robot Tip: A Quick and Easy way to Mount Batteries
    By Matt in forum Robotics General Discussion
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 12-21-2007, 06:53 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •