This Robot Is Capable Of Wireless Charging Over A Distance
Aadhya Khatri - Jan 13, 2020
Wireless charging is gaining momentum and at CES 2020, we get the chance to see the tech takes another step, which is to charge over a distance
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Wireless charging is gaining momentum and at CES 2020, we get the chance to see the tech takes another step, which is to charge over a distance. The company behind the tech is GuRu and it showed us three different concepts of how this idea might work.
The first concept is a transmitter featuring a square base section, a frame, and an angled panel. The electricity will come from the panel and is directed to another device, like a light bulb, which locates from a distance to the transmitter. At the event, Florian Bohn, GuRu’s CEO, charges a phone in a case with a receiver panel on it with only a press of a button.
If placed around two feet (0.6 meters) from the target, the transmitter can send approximately 5W, enough to fully top up a phone in just a few hours. The distance can be extended longer than two feet (0.6 meters) but the farther the target, the less power it can get, so beyond six feet (1.8 meters) the whole process is rendered useless as most of the power will be wasted.
To solve this problem, a link between the receiver and the transmitter is established. GuRu makes use of mmWave (millimeter-wave) to transmit focused power beams. Another technology called radiofrequency lensing is employed to generate radio wave energy. The power is then refracted and transmitted to focused beams, which are later collected by the RU (recovery unit).
Another demo of GuRu involves a robot and it offers a solution to the issue of efficiency over a large distance. The robot looks very much like a robot vacuum but it features an angled panel just like in the first demo. It rolled around the stand and send energy to the receiver to light up bulbs.
The idea behind the robot is that when you sleep at night, it can move around the house to charge up devices like smartphones, tablets, cameras, and security cameras.
Apart from these two prototypes, another demo is two receivers and a ceiling tile, similar to what Ossia demonstrated in the same event.
The question here is, if someone accidentally blocks the beams, what happens then?
Bohn said that the whole process will be automatically shut off if something or someone blocks the beams. He made an example by sticking his hand out and the light went off.
These transmitters can be adjusted to shut off when they sense a human’s presence nearby. GuRu has filed for approval of the Federal Communications Commission and the prospect is good as Energous and Ossia have already had theirs.
This kind of technology has been developing fast in the last few years so what most people wonder now is when we will see it as a consumer product. GuRu has already had a strategy to make that happen.
According to Bohn, GuRu is plenty able to build their own devices but they are seeking partners to bring the products to the market. He estimated that it would be available this year but no promises were made about that timeline.
The idea of wireless charging seems to stick as several players are now seeking their opportunities in this emerging market, alongside older players and the pioneers.
Bohn is quite confident about GuRu’s products and said wireless charging technology was ready.