Yann Blake • Engineering

Projects | Ideas | Portfolio | Experiences

Wireless charging for the service robot Stevie [Academic project]

  • Our project (in a group of three engineering students) was to provide a wireless charging feature to the service robot which included the development and design of a power transmitter and receiver using resonant induction technology.
  • Intellectual Property (IP) Patents, Standards and Benchmarking review.
  • Research and development for 4 months (2018) of the wireless charging feature based on the following steps : Design Specifications, Concept Design and Embodiment Design. (N.B.: in the context of the project, the devices were not expected to be manufactured but potentially manufacturable)
Science Gallery in Dublin. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Robotics engineers from Trinity [have developed] the first prototype robot designed to work in assisted care facilities and help the elderly and people living with disability in Ireland. The team behind the robot has very recently secured significant development funding from Enterprise Ireland to move the prototype towards a marketable model via a new start-up company.
The friendly looking robot has some human-like features and performs some autonomous tasks and some that are human-controlled. It will initially be charged with performing routine tasks in nursing homes and assisted care facilities.

(c) Trinity College Dublin website tcd.ie

Although most existing robot charging stations use conventional charging technologies, we have chosen to opt for a “wireless” charging technology, that is, without conventional connections between two electrically conductive materials. This for three main reasons: safety, durability and ease of use. Safety on the one hand, because (while respecting the standards of human exposure in electromagnetic fields) contact with its technologies does not present any risk of electrocution. Sustainability on the other hand, with secure connections avoiding any risk of corrosion when the electronics are in contact with water or oxygen (if the robot is used in a hospital environment for example, this is very important). Finally, ease of use, wireless connections require much less precision in terms of connection, a plug and conventional socket would require.

Some brainstorming notes and sketches from the project.

Final concept : A wireless resonant coupling inductive charging technology including a transmitter (in the base station) and a receiver inside the robot.

Files : Reports