Robot Power Sources

Jul 9, 2013

The power source that runs a robotic system is an important component to ensuring things are running smoothly. There are a variety of power sources that are available, so choosing the perfect one is imperative.


Robots are expect­ed to work tire­less hours, yield­ing per­fect, pre­cise results around the clock. But what pow­ers them? They don’t need food and water; they need a pow­er source. The selec­tion of a robot­ic pow­er source should be deci­sion made in the ear­ly stages of design since it impacts the com­plete system.

The main sources of elec­tri­cal pow­er for robots are bat­ter­ies. The type of bat­tery that is used for a robot varies depend­ing on the safe­ty, life cycle, and weight. Lead acid bat­ter­ies are com­mon, as are sil­ver cad­mi­um bat­ter­ies. Recharge­able bat­ter­ies and pri­ma­ry bat­ter­ies are both used; bat­ter­ies that are not recharge­able are gen­er­al­ly more powerful. 

Oth­er options for robot­ic pow­er sources are: ther­mo­elec­tric gen­er­a­tors, which con­vert heat direct­ly into elec­tric­i­ty; fuel cells, which are sim­i­lar to bat­ter­ies except fuel and oxi­dants are con­tin­u­ous­ly sup­plied,; super­ca­pac­i­tors, which store high ener­gy as a charge built up on plates; and teth­ers, which con­nect the robot to the pow­er sup­ply. The teth­er option entire­ly removes the pow­er source from the robot which saves weight and space, but since the robot con­stant­ly has to be con­nect­ed, it can be a nui­sance as well.

Emer­son Net­work Pow­er makes pow­er sup­ply prod­ucts for the robot­ics mar­ket. Emerson’s prod­ucts can be used for auto­mat­ed assem­bly, man­u­fac­tur­ing, and pack­ag­ing, goods han­dling and trans­port, ware­house man­age­ment, pick-and-place sys­tems, and por­tal robots. Some of the main attrib­ut­es of their prod­ucts include a wide oper­at­ing tem­per­a­ture range, high effi­cien­cy and reli­a­bil­i­ty, and small form factors. 

Lin­coln Elec­tric devel­oped the Pow­er Wave R350 K30221 and the R500 K31691 mod­els of a com­pact mul­ti-process robot­ic pow­er source. Both sources have built-in wire feed­er con­trol and are ide­al­ly used in robot­ic weld­ing appli­ca­tions. Some main fea­tures of the Pow­er Wave mod­els are the Pow­er­Con­nect Tech­nol­o­gy which auto­mat­i­cal­ly adjusts to input pow­er while main­tain­ing a con­stant out­put, and the Aux­il­iary Pow­er Surge Block­er Tech­nol­o­gy, ensur­ing per­for­mance is not affect­ed by simul­ta­ne­ous use of oth­er devices requir­ing high current.

Air Liq­uide Weld­ing assures cus­tomers that their new cut­ting machines equipped with TOP­WAVE have many ben­e­fits. TOP­WAVE com­bines the per­for­mance of DIGI­WAVE and CITOWAVE pow­er sources to OTC robot­ics. A smart teach pen­dant for both the pow­er source and the OTC robot ensures all-in-one sim­pli­fied programming.

The pow­er source pow­er­ing a robot is a crit­i­cal deci­sion, affect­ing the robot­ic process and out­put. Robots​.com pro­vides Inte­gra­tion-Ready KUKA, Motoman, ABB, and Fanuc. If you would like to learn more on how to incor­po­rate the right robot pow­er source, con­tact us at 8777626881.

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