Feeding our power-hungry fellow...

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Shai Alyt NEMO
Shai Alyt NEMO's picture
Feeding our power-hungry fellow...

The RS Media uses a lot (6 pcs.) of quite expensive D-size batteries.

And he consumes them quite qickly, so running him on batteries for a reasonably long time is indeed expensive.

Partial solution may be the use of rechargeable D-cells, but they

1. Provide significantly less voltage.

2.Are hard to find. 

3.Are very expensive while their reliability and life-span is questionable.

4. It's also hard to find a sutable charger (actually, two as one charger typically charges not more then 4 cells).

5.The charging time appears to be uncomfortable long, ytnce at least two sets of rechageable cells will be needed (double expensive).

On the other hand, fortunately RSM have an AC/DC adapter but unfortunately RSM is blocking his lower body movements while powered from mains.

So, the question is:

Did anyone tried (or investigated how) to override such a fool-protection, obviously made to ensure the electric safety of children, supposed to play with RSM?

Personally, I think that with this protection disabled, RSM can be fully usable for the actions, that don't involve walking far in, say, one room space. So, battery would be needed only occasionally.


FreddyA's picture

I am attempting to make a pair of charging shoes or alike that will charge the batteries inside the robot and allow for walking and waist movement. I am using sanyo eneloop rechargeable and their corresponding chargers. I hope to have a working pair and will make my first youtube once done (if I don??t fry the robot) I haven??t had any input for this from the forum so I am open and hungry for suggestions and warnings.

TikaC's picture

I was just thinking, just how expensive IS our robots in comparison to say, a pet dog or cat. Food, litter, vet bills, shots, neutering... And they don't speak english and are not very programmable. And same with humans - we each are quite expensive to keep up. We have to eat every few hours, sleep several hours per 24 hour period. I was thinking, a robot (even RSM) seems to be about the same. He needs energy (bioforms = food, electronic = electricity/batteries) and if you want to run him 24/7, like us, he'll need replenishing of food every several hours. One set of batteries is like what, $11? One meal for us is how much? About the same? But how long do we go on a meal. Suppose 8 hours for sleep (24 - 8) = 16 hours of awake time. So we eat 3 - 6 times a day (including snacking). So let's say we eat 6 times a day. 16 / 6 = about $2.66 per meal/snack. Of course meals would cost more. Ok, so let's assume we take in 3 meals and 3 snacks. 3 meals at $10 each = $30 and 3 snacks at around $2 = $6 so that's $36 a day. Or if you're like me I can eat for $5 a meal, and snacks for less so maybe only I can eat for $18 a day. RSM would run about 3 hours on a set of cells. So he needs to be "fed" every 16 / 3 = 5.33 times or let's say 5 battery changes a day. 5 x $11 for D's and another 4 AA's (Maybe $1 per battery if you think $4 for a pack of 4). So that's around $15 per "meal" for him. That would be $75 per DAY for the robot to 'live' like a human.

Yup, expensive to feed!

Of course my math could be WAY off, but it was an interesting thought exercise... I agree that it would be nice to cut that cost down more.

My RoboQuad went 3 months (almost) with one set of C batteries before he showed signs of battery drain (one severe 3 moderate). I didn't use him every day or too long per day so I'd roughly estimate he lasted about as long as advertised (about 8 hours total) on a set. Whenever I used him he was usually in roam mode in either highest activity/sensitivity levels or everything up except not aggression (that would be level 2 when I first got him). So he does significantly better. In fact, my i-Que when new only went 1.5 hours on a charge before needing to find the charging dock. So RoboQuad beat out that in longevity between battery changes (or "charges") as well.

But then again RQ doesn't do a lot of things like talk, (though he does beep) or have a dictionary/thesaurus/games, etc. But I think motors take the most power. I think that is what robs a robot of it's power the most. Speech/speakers would be next. Processing I think they have it pretty low power consumption these days, even in the RSM. I think what's taking up the most power in the RSM (or any bot) is the use of the motors.

Phasor's picture

I splashed out and got one of these babies (http://servaas.com.au/maha-powerex-c808m-ultimate-pro-charger-charge-aaa...), with a bunch of rechargeables from the same site. Cost me like $300 AUD all up, but should be worth it in the long run.