Self-charging RVR

Ultimately, I’d like to be able to make my RVR autonomous including the capability of returning to a charging station and self-charging. I am assuming this would require hardware modification and I’m fine with that. On the other hand, I’m not an electrical engineer so it would take me a lot of research and thought to figure out where to slice and hack in order to get something like this working. I’m hoping that either 1) some other community member has some ideas about this and perhaps has already done it or 2) that someone at sphero might have some suggestions.

On a related note, when I was looking for a category to post this in it seemed odd that there wasn’t something like an “advanced hardware” category already. Shouldn’t there be?

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I was looking at the QI charger with USB C. It is thin and could be mounted under the RVR, but the issue was that the RVR battery USB C connection is blocked by case and not sure if it will charge when battery installed in the RVR.

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I believe what you are looking for is a docking station that the RVR would drive over that would make contact with two prongs and the RVR would sense that it is charging and stop. The two prongs would need to be connected directly to the battery terminals in the RVR and would need to be a Lipo charger so that the battery would be charged properly.

Mike

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Yes, the charging can be accomplished by either contacts or inductance and self-navigating to the charging station is pretty straightforward albeit error prone. The question is really about the power circuitry on the RVR. For instance, is it absolutely necessary to cut the circuit between the battery and the RVR prior to charging? I suspect it probably is, but I don’t know for sure. Also, I wonder if the RVR was built with any kind of “charging the battery while it’s in the robot” feature in mind and, if so, is there anything residual in the existing on-board design that may prove helpful to the task?

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First to answer your last question: No, there should not be a category for that. The reason for this is that RVR is meant to be a “Hackable” robot with code alone. I once asked how to remove dirt from inside, and they could not legally tell me to take it apart. If you were to accidentally mess up the battery while modding it, I’m almost certain the warranty would be void and you wouldn’t be getting any new parts.

As for the idea of how it could work, yes, I have put quite some thought into it.
Check out this thread for more: Project Ideas

The main issue that we found its the the charging port is very tight against the far wall of the RVR, with no way to connect a charger to without taking it out or drilling a hole through the power button…

Okay, You said that RVR is designed to be hack-able with the code. How do I edit the onboard standard code? I need to edit the turning speed on this thing, it’s ri-dic-ulous & you have no control over it. If not the change the entire way that it drives in general. In both I’m referring to how it drives via the app. Whether be with the remote controlling, or in writing the code, you have no control on how fast the bloody thing turns & is down right infuriating!

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Additionally, what on earth is wrong with the word - ri-dic-ulous? Why on earth would a fine word completely non-offensive like that be restricted?

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Actually, sphero announced an update that’s coming soon that will fix the problem with RVR being so sensitive. Until then I’d suggest just lowering its speed while indoors.

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Cool idea maybe you could remove the power button And mount it on the RVR mounting plate and then build a metal contact charging base.

I haven’t checked to see if my RVR needs to be updated, but u said about turning down the speed while indoors, The point is that you have no control over how fast it turns. It doesn’t matter how slow the speed is set, when it turns it only has one speed - bat out of hell!

Hi @Dao20,

We didn’t like how it was turning either, so we fixed it with the firmware update released last month. The turn rates are dependent on linear velocity by default, and with the SDK you can configure turning any way you want, in addition to having several new drive interfaces to supplement the original Drive with Heading and Raw Motor interfaces. Check out this thread for more details: RVR Firmware + Python SDK Update Now Available

I hope you find this update to be a significant improvement. We also plan to make some changes in the EDU app going forward to make some more of the improvements available from there and not just via the SDK.

-Jim

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