WiBotic and GaN Systems partner on high-power wireless charging for drones and autonomous robots

Partnering with GaN Systems of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (a fabless developer of gallium nitride-based power switching semiconductors for power conversion and control applications), WiBotic of Seattle, WA, USA is providing off-the-shelf high-power wireless charging solutions for the rapidly growing robotics ecosystem to deliver the power levels and increased antenna range that both drones and robots demand.

The partnership aims to advance the capabilities of mobile industrial robots, freeing them from limitations imposed by existing restricted charging methods that allow for continuous operation. For mobile robots to work efficiently, flexibly and without interruption, they need to achieve autonomy with wireless charging stations rather than requiring an operator to make a physical connection, note the firms.

GaN power semiconductors enable the autonomous wireless charging that these conditions require by operating at a high switching frequency, delivering high-power capability with the spatial freedom (large air gaps) needed in the design of charging systems that require no human intervention.

WiBotic’s off-the-shelf, fully automatic, intelligent wireless power system includes components that incorporate GaN Systems’ technology to enable very high efficiency levels. The systems allow:

  • rapid charging at hundreds of watts and greater;
  • autonomous charging at multiple locations and multiple times without having to spend time docking;
  • greater robot uptime (so fewer robots are needed to complete the same amount of work); and
  • no cords and moving parts (so there is no limit on the number of charge cycles a system can deliver).

GaN provides high reliability and, when coupled with wireless power systems from WiBotic, the technologies provide an extremely robust and reliable system that never wears out,” says WiBotic’s CEO & co-founder Ben Waters. “We chose GaN Systems as a strategic partner because of its unique and best-in-class GaN technology. The result of this partnership is new wireless power solutions that offer higher power delivery across a wide range of applications,” he adds.

GaN power semiconductors, operating at high frequency, are enabling several wireless charging advantages from higher power capability to significant level of spatial freedom that are needed in multiple industries,” comments CEO Jim Witham.

Demonstrations of WiBotic’s wireless charging solutions are being given at the GaN Systems’ booth 9-507 at PCIM Europe 2019 (Power Conversion and Intelligent Motion) in Nuremberg, Germany (7-9 May).