Posted 01 January 2018
What a way to start off the new year! The battery charger module for my autonomous wall-following robot Wall-E2 has been completed and tested, and now has been integrated into the robot – yay!!
If you have been following this saga, you will recall that I started working on an internal charging module for Wall-E2 well over a year ago, back in November 2016 with this post. Since then I have gone through several iterations, revisions, and mis-steps (including a semi mind-boggling deep-dive into the details of the Adafruit PowerBoost 1000C specifications in this post). Last month I finally got a complete system (two PowerBoost 1000C’s integrated onto a single PCB with appropriate control and battery switching circuitry) working, and was able to run extensive charge/discharge cycle testing using a simple test circuit and an Arduino Uno to run it. So, now all I had to do was stuff the whole thing back into the robot. This task was made possible by my earlier decision to upgrade Wall-E2’s ride to a slightly larger chassis, so instead of trying to cram 2Kg of battery/charger into a 1Kg space, I now had the pleasure of fitting 2Kg into a 3Kg space – nice! Here are some photos of the integration process.
Now that the battery/charger module has been integrated into the robot chassis, I will have to make some minor changes to the robot operating system to accommodate changes I have made along the way, but these should be easy and straightforward. Then, it will be back to field testing, I hope.