Robots Need Nanotube Cap Batteries

Posted 10 Feb 2006 at 15:26 UTC by Rog-a-matic Share This

One thing holding back advances in mobile robotics is current chemical battery technology. The power-to-weight ratio is not adequate, charging/discharging issues are problematic, they have limited life, and they're expensive. Frankly, this old-school Baghdad battery technology is pathetic. It's time for a revolution, and the folks at MIT's Laboratory for Electromagnetic and Electronic Systems are looking to change things with Nanotube-Enhanced Ultracapacitors. These are not your Granddaddy's electrolytics. These capacitors promise longer lifetimes, temperature stability, high immunity to shock and vibration, and excellent charge/discharge characteristics - Perfect for mobile devices and our Robot friends. Just think what Robots would look like and do if our battery technology was improved by a factor of 100, or even 10,000?

Ultracaps, posted 10 Feb 2006 at 16:21 UTC by steve » (Master)

Ultracaps are practical for small robots now. I've got six Maxwell D cell 300F 2.5V Ultracaps. They drop right into standard D cell battery holders and will power a small robot with 6-12V motors for a long time. There are some significant differences you have to get used to such as a very wide voltage range as the cells discharge. Also the caps have a much higher power density than batteries but still have a lower energy density.

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