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Powering Embedded Robots

Erin Kennedy

Powering Embedded Robots
Erin Kennedy

Embedded robots have varied power needs: including their microcontroller, motors / actuators, sensors, and communications. A proper power distribution design enables the robot to avoid ‘brown out’ when its wheels require more torque on difficult terrain. As well as protecting from fluctuations that may interfere with the reliable operation of sensors and communications. This talk will show how both the electronics and embedded sides are applied together. The embedded robots focused on are small 40 - 70 W mobile rovers (ie, Pathfinder sized, or Vex / FTC sized), and wearable companion robots that are typically powered from a limited supply. he concepts discussed will be illustrated with hands-on lessons learned from my robotics projects.

At the end of this talk you should be able to:

  1. Design a power distribution setup for your robot
  2. Identify the electronics factors involved with power distribution
  3. Estimate efficiencies and battery life
  4. Analyze power usage with external measurement, and data logging on microcontroller
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