The solar energy cells use robotics to increase their efficiency with stability, autonomous power, and renewability.
FREMONT, CA: In robotics, solar cells' demand increases as they are the renewable, stable, autonomous power source for the smaller robots. The photovoltaic (PV) technology is continuously developing, and it is expected that it can power gigantic and humanoid robots in the future.
Robot Power Sources
Currently, the most popular power source for robots is integrated batteries. The new development of Boston Dynamics' prominent humanoid robot Atlas Unplugged has an onboard 3.7 kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery pack that can replace the actual versions' necessities for a power cord. The battery is even big enough to power one-hour of mixed mission operations that utilize tools, walking, and standing. It also makes it more appropriate for disaster relied on application.
Some robots utilize the onboard generator systems by using a combustion engine for converting burned fuel into power. Another type of onboard power generation utilizes thermoelectric generators that convert heat into energy to exploit the Seebeck effect.
Such onboard power generation can even be implemented with a battery in a hybrid or two-stage system. With this system, power generation can occur even when the robot is not performing other functions, enhancing safety. Parallel hybrids are also utilized in a few robots.
Solar Power in Robots
Another common type of onboard power generation in robots is solar power. The solar cells are stalled in the robot's framework, and power is generated for the robots with the help of the photovoltaic effect. Therefore, during choosing solar cells for the onboard power generations, it is essential to consider factors like efficiency to weight, economic expense, the efficiency of the surface area, and durability. While designing robots that integrates solar cells, energy efficiency, the robot's weight, and the required time must be taken into consideration.
To work efficiently, the solar-powered robots must be hybrid and with two-stage. Moreover, if the designs are not considered, it will become useless at night or during low light conditions. The solar-power robots can also integrate smart technologies that can be utilized for monitoring their battery level, find an appropriate location for charging with weather and GPS and lower their energy usage when the battery or light level is less.