How can I prolong the battery life of my robot?

Hi Spheros,

As I understand it, there’s no way to switch out a battery in most of these robots. I’ve just bought a SPRK+, and I was wondering if anyone had any tips on prolonging the battery life?

Thanks in advance!

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Hey there!!

The biggest thing I do is let it die all the way before plugging it in to charge. But I’ve heard putting it in deep sleep for gaps of time when you’re not using it helps. I found this article on their support site: https://support.sphero.com/article/xb3fqy09ha-how-to-prolong-the-battery-life-for-sprk

Hope that helps!!

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Yes if you want to expand your spheros battery life first you want to use the battery up all the way and than charge it all the way and if you want to expand the battery while not using it for a long time you need to go into the sphero edu app and in the main screen click your sphero and put it into deep sleep. Another way to do this is to put your sphero on it’s charging base and hold the button on the side while taking your sphero off. Hope this helps.

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Hi all,

Another good battery saving trick is to not leave your bot on a plugged-in charger for an extended period (beyond fully charging). Whenever a bot isn’t in deep sleep, there’s a slow drain on the battery as it advertises over Bluetooth to allow it to be discovered and connected to. When the charger detects that a bot is fully charged, it’ll cease charging, but if the bot’s battery falls below a certain threshold the charger will reinitiate the charging process. Thus, if left on the charger your bot’s battery will eventually drain down low enough and then recharge until full, repeating that cycle as long as it’s left there. To best prolong battery life, follow all the suggestions from previous posts, and remove your bot from its charger (or unplug the charger if you like using it as a bot stand) when you notice it’s reached a full charge (the charger light changes from blinking to solid). If you’re not gonna use the bot for a while, deep sleep it once fully charged. Keep in mind, placing a deep sleeping bot back in a plugged-in charger will wake it back up.

Cheers,
Larsson

Sphero Software Engineer

Please define extended period for charging as well as not using the bot for a while…are we talking days or weeks? I’m in a classroom with 20 classes in and out throughout the week and while I want to have them charged and ready to go always, I don’t want them being charged but not draining too. Should I just deep sleep all the time? Thanks

Hi ggtechteacher,

When a robot reaches a full charge, its charger’s light transitions from blinking to solid. At that point the robot will no longer be charging, and if it’s not put in deep sleep it will continue to broadcast over BLE and thus slowly drain its battery.

Therefore, the absolute best way to prolong battery life is to keep an eye on those charger lights, and as soon as a charger transitions to the solid state, deep sleep the robot. The easiest way to deep sleep a robot is to press and hold the button on the side of the charger, while the robot is in the charger, and then remove the robot from the charger while still holding the charger button. Your robot will then be in deep sleep. You can then place it back on the charger upside down so that the charger still acts as a storage cradle but won’t wake the robot since the robot’s charging coil won’t be in contact with the charger base.

I recognize constantly watching those charger lights can be a bit tedious, but you shouldn’t need to worry about catching them the instant they transition. Though a robot will indeed drain its battery when in soft sleep, it’s a very slow drain. In a classroom context, I imagine checking chargers and deep sleeping any fully charged bots once or twice a day would still be a top-notch way to manage their battery lives. That said, I’m just an app-side engineer, so I’ve reached out to our hardware team to see if they have specific numbers I can share regarding how long it’ll take a brand new BOLT or SPRK+ to fully drain from a full charge when in soft sleep.

Please let me know if you have additional questions about battery best practices, and I’ll either answer myself or find someone who can.

Cheers,
Larsson

Sphero Software Engineer

Hello again ggtechteacher,

Seems like my advice was overly wary… One of our electrical engineers just informed me that he estimates a new fully charged BOLT to take about a month to fully drain when left alone in soft sleep, and that a SPRK+ may last as long as 3 or 4 months. So with that in mind, maybe deep sleep your bots over summer vacation, but don’t worry about it during the week.

Cheers,
Larsson

Sphero Software Engineer