WiBotic Receives CE Mark for Wireless Charging Systems

Article By : Maurizio Di Paolo Emilio

WiBotic has received CE Marks for two of its 300W and 250W wireless charging systems.

WiBotic has announced that it has received CE Marks for two of its 300W and 250W charging systems. CE Mark assures companies that their products marketed in the European community meet strict safety, health, and environmental protection requirements.

In an interview with EE Times Europe, Ben Waters, CEO at WiBotic, pointed out that the TR-301 transmitter with OC-301 charger onboard (operating at 300 watts), and the TR-301 transmitter with OC-251 charger onboard (operating at 250 watts) achieved CE qualification after passing several tests. During testing, key parameters were tested, including radiated emissions, harmonic emissions, AC conducted emissions, RF immunity, RF exposure, and overall product safety.

CE Mark

CE marking is a key part of marketing a product in the European community, but at the same time requires numerous tests to qualify the product in terms of safety and reliability. After FCC’s approval in the US, the opportunity to offer this product in other countries around the world is a significant opportunity, Waters indicated.

“Unlike the FCC, CE Marks have requirements for both electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) compliance and electronic safety compliance. The EMC compliance testing is similar to that of the FCC, but slightly different in terms of test procedures and thresholds for emissions, which are more stringent than the FCC. WiBotic also completed electronic safety requirements in accordance with the CB Scheme. Both of these are important for our products and they help customers who have similar requirements for their own robots move through these processes quickly. As more and more robot safety standards come to fruition around the world, ensuring that our products meet similar requirements is essential for helping the entire robotics industry reach a state of maturity, reliability and scalability,” said Waters.

The CE Mark is the manufacturer’s declaration that the requirements of the relevant European Directives have been met. With the CE Mark on a product, its packaging or accompanying information indicates that the minimum levels of quality and health and safety have been met.

WiBotic Technology

WiBotic’s technology allows drones and medium-sized robots to be recharged quickly, thus making it possible to use drone and robot technology for various industrial applications such as transport and safety.

“We are doing a lot of work with our standard battery charging products beyond wireless charging. There are a growing number of battery charging standards around the world and charging efficiency standards. We are working to meet these requirements as well as continue to improve our wireless product line for smaller size, lighter weight and higher efficiency,” said Waters.

The TR-301 is a high-power transmitter that has the ability to transmit up to 300 watts into a wide range of products, including drones. It supports both the OC-251 and OC-301 onboard chargers. The system can be installed in drone-in-a-box solutions, landing pads or as a stand-alone unit. It can also be wall-mounted, for ground-based robots, in a similar way that robotic hoovers return to the base station to recharge. The reliability of wireless charging gives robots and drones greater autonomy, requiring less human intervention and maintenance than contact charging systems.

wireless charging (WiBotic)
Figure 1: WiBotic wireless charging system with TR-301 transmitter and OC-301 onboard charger
wireless charging (WiBotic)
Figure 2: Drone outfitted with WiBotic’s OC-251 onboard charger, sitting atop a WiBotic PowerPad (TR-301 Transmitter in an Enclosure)

The TR-301’s metal casing includes flanges, an LCD display for system messages and LED indicators to show system status at all times. A standard antenna with coaxial cable input and an integrated Ethernet port allows external systems to monitor and control the transmitter using WiBotic’s web-based API or Wibotic Commander for fleet energy management.

Waters pointed out that the on-board chargers ensure compatibility with most types of battery chemistries and are fully programmable between 0-60V and 0-30A (OC301) or 0-12A (OC251). In addition, the on-board chargers can communicate with the drone or robot using CANbus.

As drone flights and robot use become more constant and repetitive, flexible wireless charging stations enable fast charging without interfering with operation. Waters stressed how size, weight, power and cost are the big four elements that WiBotic hears from its customers. “Smaller size, lighter weight, higher power (and higher efficiency) and lower cost are all important things for us to work on. Of course, there are several trade-offs there… smaller size sometimes means more heat generated for the same amount of power. So, we are working on balancing all of those trade-offs and ensuring a high standard for reliability. Hardware is challenging to design, but power electronics are particularly tricky. Building reliability and complying with certification standards are constantly evolving efforts at WiBotic,” said Waters.

This article was originally published on EE Times Europe.

Maurizio Di Paolo Emilio holds a Ph.D. in Physics and is a telecommunication engineer and journalist. He has worked on various international projects in the field of gravitational wave research. He collaborates with research institutions to design data acquisition and control systems for space applications. He is the author of several books published by Springer, as well as numerous scientific and technical publications on electronics design.

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