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Quasi-wireless surface power and control for battery-free robotics

  • A. K. Pickering (a1), Richard Hull (a1), J. E. Hawk (a1), Arindam Phani (a1), C. W. Van Neste (a1) and Thomas Thundat (a1)...


Current robotic systems have achieved great sophistication in kinematic motion, control, and neural processing. One of the most challenging limitations imposed on modern robotics is the portable power source needed to sustain tether-free operation. Energy storage devices such as batteries and combustion engines may be heavy, require a great deal of space, and invariably have a finite energy capacity. Methods to control such devices may also impose limitations as most robotic systems rely on either tethered or radiative communication. The unavoidable repercussion of these limitations is the ultimate reduction of mobility and operation time to achieve specific tasks. To address these challenges, we apply our quasi-wireless powering methodology to show the operation of two robotic devices over a 1×1 m2 surface. Both power and control signals are transmitted simultaneously, producing seamless storage-free functionality over the entire area with a communication technique that is not line-of-sight or radiation dependent. We demonstrate an average power transfer efficiency of 93% using commercially available toy robots and discuss parameters relating to the power and communication performance.


Corresponding author

Corresponding author: C.W. Van Neste Email:


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Quasi-wireless surface power and control for battery-free robotics

  • A. K. Pickering (a1), Richard Hull (a1), J. E. Hawk (a1), Arindam Phani (a1), C. W. Van Neste (a1) and Thomas Thundat (a1)...


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