A wireless charging system for underwater robots has been developed in Russia

A wireless charging system for underwater robots has been developed in Russia

Specialists of the St. Petersburg Federal Research Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences (SPb FITS of the Russian Academy of Sciences) have created a system that allows wireless transmission of energy under water. The development, which has no analogues in the Russian Federation, in particular, will find application in geological exploration and monitoring of water bodies, where such systems will be able to reliably and safely serve the corresponding robotic systems.

Today, robotics is actively being implemented in various spheres of life and opens up great opportunities for increasing automation and productivity, especially in those environments where it is difficult for a person to perform tasks without the use of special equipment.

In particular, we are talking about the active use of robots in conducting high-precision underwater work, including geological exploration, studying the relief of fresh and salt water bodies, monitoring the water area, and others. One of the tasks for the effective operation of robots under water is the development of power supply and battery charging systems.

We have developed a prototype of a wireless energy transmission system for autonomous robotic systems of various purposes. In particular, we are talking about underwater work, for which such a solution for charging batteries allows to increase the level of automation and safety of this process. Moreover, our system is bi-directional, i.e. it enables charging robots at the charging station, and also enables the exchange of energy resources directly between the robots of the group,” says Kostiantyn Khrestovnikov, a junior researcher at the Laboratory of Autonomous Robotic Systems of the St. Petersburg Physiological Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

The system consists of transmitting and receiving parts. Wireless energy transmission is carried out using the method of electromagnetic induction, i.e. using an alternating magnetic field. In addition, the development has an energy transfer control module, which, based on the specifics of a particular robot, can be integrated into the control system.

Thanks to the principles used in this system, it is not necessary to ensure high-precision positioning or tight contact between the robot and the charging station, as in the case of existing analogues. The receiver and transmitter, in one of the developed prototypes, need to be at a distance of less than 6-7 cm from each other. The energy transfer efficiency measured on a prototype system with an output power of 400 W is about 85%.

“Today, our two-way wireless energy transmission system has no analogues in Russia, and can be used as a tool for solving tasks related to the achievement of technological sovereignty of the country in the field of development and implementation of robots in various spheres of the economy. Based on the needs of industrial partners, its design and software can be adapted to different types of robots to perform the respective tasks. For example, it can be implemented in the form of an underwater automated charging station for a group of robots instead of raising each one to the surface and changing the batteries manually,” Kostiantyn Khrestovnikov explains.

The development of scientists of St. Petersburg FIS RAS – a bidirectional system of wireless energy transmission – is patented (patent number: No. 2802056). Scientific publications in the magazines Radioengineering and Serbian Journal of Electrical Engineering are dedicated to the developers.

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