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RoBM2: Measurement of battery capacity in mobile robot systems

: Lucas, N.; Codrea, C.; Hirth, T.; Gutierrez, J.; Dressler, F.

Dressler, F. ; GI-ITG-Fachgruppe Kommunikation und Verteilte Systeme; Univ. Erlangen-Nürnberg:
GI/ITG KuVS Fachgespräche "Energiebewusste Systeme und Methoden" und "Systemsoftware für Pervasive Computing" 2005 : 11.-12. Oktober 2005, Erlangen
Erlangen: Gruner Druck, 2005 (Arbeitsberichte des Instituts für Informatik, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen Nürnberg 38,5)
Fachgespräch Energiebewusste Systeme und Methoden <1, 2005, Erlangen>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IIS ()

Modern robots increase in complexity as new applications, e.g. cameras or navigation modules, are added to the system. These enhancements pose demanding operation conditions on the battery, emphasizing the importance of this component. Usually batteries represent an unpredictable source of power, whereas little or no knowledge about their characteristics or state is available. Methodologies to perform estimates of the remaining capacity may not be implemented. Equipment powered by the battery cannot determine if the battery, in its given state, is capable of supplying adequate power for an additional load. Even worse, the batteries may not be used correctly, e.g. due to wrong charging procedures or inadequate storage conditions at too high temperatures, what may result in damage or reduced performance. Under these suboptimal conditions it is often not possible to ensure the proper operation of the robot, this being unacceptable for security-critical applications.
An intelligent interface between the battery pack and the supplied mobile robot is introduced here. Previous work on battery management and monitoring solutions for portable communication devices helps to develop hardware and algorithms able to cope with the challenges of high-power consumption robots. A Robertino robot is upgraded with a dedicated Robot Battery Management and Monitoring module (RoBM2), and serves as a flexible framework to test and develop new routines that provide the robot with reliable remaining capacity estimates and extend battery life.