AC/DC Low Voltage Battery Management Unit
Mobile robots are usually battery operated. Solar-powered robots or other wireless approaches are not frequently found among commercially available solutions or in robotics literature. The market for autonomous robots is far ranging, spanning from advanced toys to robots dedicated to the exploration of hostile environments. We will probably also see in near future cooperative micro-robots that are currently in R&D. The use of batteries on these autonomous robots brings several advantages: batteries are inherently safe, inexpensive, easily available and standardized. Rechargeable batteries are preferred, even if the cost is higher. Today, there are a lot of commercially available robots with a rechargeable battery pack on board, such as robots used for cleaning rooms. They need to go periodically to their base station to charge the battery pack before continuing their task. STMicroelectronics proposes a wide range of devices and solutions to support battery management and DC-DC conversion. They are supported by a large offering in terms of technical documentation and evaluation boards, to help speed the design time for developers. Voltage and current controllers dedicated to battery management are available, together with devices and solutions for DC-DC conversion, such as multi-output regulators, step-up and step-down converters, microprocessor supervisors and reset ICs. These are just few examples of solutions to enhance battery life for autonomous robots.
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