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Optimize Your Fleet Energy Management With WiBotic Commander 

 February 10, 2021

By  Mike Oitzman

WiBotic launches a new robotic fleet energy management solution called Commander. This new software solution is useful if you are managing and operating a large fleet of mobile robots, aerial drones or marine robots that operate on stored energy (i.e. batteries). Commander delivers an easy-to-use, intuitive platform to visualize, configure, and optimize the delivery of energy throughout a fleet of autonomous vehicles or any battery-powered device using WiBotic charging systems.

WiBotic manufacturers wireless charging systems capable of replenishing battery energy without the need for direct contact between a wired charging dock and the vehicle's on-board battery. WiBotic leverages a charging pad with a large antenna that transfers energy wirelessly to a receiving antenna onboard the vehicle (robot).  The company has customers in markets as diverse as warehouse/manufacturing mobile robots & automatic guided vehicles, infrastructure inspection drone fleets and marine data acquisition robots.

WiBotic Commander map view

The map view in WiBotic Commander enables you to see at-a-glance, all of the charging stations in your facility. (image courtesy of WiBotic)

Manage Heterogeneous Fleet Charging

A core value proposition of WiBotic wireless charging stations is that you can unify the charging of a heterogeneous fleet of AMRs or drones so that a single WiBotic wireless charging dock can be used by all of the vehicles in your fleet. With WiBotic, you can eliminate proprietary contact-based charging docks from your fleet and replace them with universal WiBotic charging docks and on-board WiBotic battery management systems.  

“This year marks an inflection point for robot adoption, from mobile robots to aerial drones, even extending to underwater and space-based robots,” said Ben Waters, CEO and co-founder, WiBotic. “Organizations that have evaluated small numbers of robots in the past are now realizing ROI, and are pivoting to scale-up. Commander was created to address these efforts by providing our customers with unparalleled insight into how their robots consume energy, how to minimize robot downtime and predict failures before they happen; even how to evaluate and compare performance across different battery types and vendors.”

Waters went on to say, “We are excited to introduce WiBotic Commander as a solution that solves some of the problems that companies have as they try to scale up fleets. One of the biggest bottlenecks that we’ve seen are power and energy delivery. Batteries die, charging stations get moved around, and the robots need to find them. Commander is a solution to the fleet energy management problem.”

WiBotic Commander Features

WiBotic Commander is a software solution that provides a birds-eye view of your facility and tracks the location and usage of all of the WiBotic wireless charging docks. Commander provides insight into what's happening with energy usage by your fleet. Typically, proprietary charging docks don’t have intelligence built in. WiBotic provides data about every charge cycle. With this data, you can learn which stations are being used and which aren’t.

WiBotic wants to optimize charging cycles and enable you to increase the uptime of your fleet by 10-15%. WiBotic can also help you manage regulations related to battery safety, robot safety and charger/dock safety.

Four different screenshots of WiBotic Commander

WiBotic Commander provides a variety of views of your charging data. (Image courtesy of WiBotic)

Easy To Deploy

The Commander solution is implemented as a docker container, which provides flexibility in deployment. Commander can be deployed locally in your onsite data center, or hosted in the cloud. Commander uses the same open API that is already in use by WiBotic chargers. Commander unifies the data and communication for the entire estate of the charging stations.

Commander Features:

  • Deploy a common charging infrastructure for all robots in a fleet, regardless of battery chemistry, voltage, or charge speed requirements.
  • Auto-discover all transmitters and robots for immediate visibility, so there is no time-consuming manual setup.
  • Aggregate detailed information on every charge cycle for every robot, allowing battery performance analysis to better predict failures and avoid downtime.
  • Adjust charge settings for groups of robots and push those updates to the fleet automatically.
  • Benchmark battery performance across different chemistries and vendors to help customers make more informed decisions over time.
  • Easily update firmware for all WiBotic equipment simultaneously with a single keystroke.

In addition to wireless charging solutions, WiBotic also provides solutions for autonomous contact-charging stations or manual plug-in charging. The onboard WiBotic charger can be programmed to accommodate batteries of different voltages, charge rates or capacity. The WiBotic charger can function and track charge cycles regardless of whether it is receiving power wirelessly, or via direct (wired) power connection.

For more information: https://www.wibotic.com

About the author 

Mike Oitzman

Mike Oitzman brings 25 years of product management and product marketing experience to the role of publisher and editor for Mobile Robot Guide. Mike is a respected expert in the mobile robot market and is a frequent panel leader and speaker at events and tradeshows.

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