AGM batteries (Absorbent Glass Mat) are lead acid batteries that contain a fibreglass mesh between the battery plates. This mesh contains the electrolyte and prevents leakages even if the batteries are stored upside down or when the outer casing is cracked. This technology is well proven, cheap and widely available. Its drawbacks are a low energy density, resulting in high weight for a given capacity, and a limited number of charge-discharge cycles.
Their capacity will reduce over time until at some point (approximately after two years of use) the robot’s available uptime is no longer sufficient and the batteries need to be replaced.
There are several measures to prolong the life of AGM batteries and to save costs and resources:
- Recharge the robot whenever possible.
- Avoid deep discharge and reaching the automatic shut-down voltage.
- Charge the robot while it does not need to move, for example while programming for several hours.
- Do not leave the robot with empty batteries for a long time.
Lead batteries in AGM design are generally very tolerant and significantly less dangerous than traditional lithium-ion-batteries. Heat, age or wrong treatment may nevertheless cause damages.
Regularly check the battery’s condition, at least once every month! The following points indicate battery damages:
- Deformation or stretching of the battery’s casing
- White or brownish spots at the battery contacts or other metal parts
- Excess heat
- Strong smell of sulphur
- Liquid below the battery
As soon as you notice any kind of damage the batteries must no longer be used and must not be charged any further! Please contact Neobotix immediately.
Lithium iron phosphate batteries, also known as LiFePO4 or LFP batteries, are a rather recent development in lithium-ion battery technology. They provide several benefits compared to AGM batteries as well as other lithium-ion designs.
LiFePO4 batteries are not necessarily smaller than AGM batteries but save about 60% of weight at the same nominal capacity. Under actual use conditions their usable capacity is even higher than that of AGM batteries, because they can be fully discharged. Similar deep discharge of AGM batteries quickly leads to loss of capacity or other damages.
Thanks to their chemistry LiFePO4 batteries provide a very stable output voltage and support fast charging. This not only reduces the recharge time significantly but also allows short periodic charging at convenient locations inside the workspace. When done properly this in-process-charging enables the robot to operate 24/7 without being taken out of operation for recharing.
LiFePO4 batteries are intrinsically much more stable than other lithium based designs. In addition our LiFePO4 batteries also contain a sophisticated battery management system (BMS) that constantly monitors their condition and health. The status information of the BMS is read by the robot’s control software and used to indicate potential problems.
If you notice anything unusal about the LiFePO4 batteries immediately switch off the robot, stop charging and contact Neobotix!
With external Battery Charger¶
The battery of the mobile robot consists of several batteries connected in series and / or in parallel. The resulting battery pack can be charged conveniently and safely by using the provided battery charger.
The battery charger needs a power supply of 230 VAC, 50 Hz.
The charger must be placed in a dry environment. Do not cover the housing, so appropriate cooling is possible, and avoid direct sunlight.
First connect the battery charger to the charging connector and then turn on the charger. After the battery has been fully charged first turn off the battery charger and then disconnect the cable.
- Never connect or disconnect the battery charger while it is switched on! Increased wear of the contacts due to electric arcs may occur. The battery or other electrical components may be damaged.
- Always make sure that the charging connector is fully inserted into the socket and properly secured. An incomplete or insufficient connection can cause high heat and significant damages.
- Only use batteries and chargers supplied by Neobotix. Using unsuitable batteries or battery chargers can lead to serious damages, injuries and hazards!
Recharging is done completely automatic after the connection is established and the battery charger is connected to the main power supply and switched on. For recharging it does not matter whether the robot is switched on or off. The only difference is the time needed for a full recharge. With the on-board electronic active, a recharge might take significantly longer, depending on the workload of the on-board computer.
The battery charger features an overload protection, thus allowing the robot to be permanently (e.g. overnight) connected to the charger. If the robot remains switched on while being connected to the charger (e. g. while programming) it might be necessary to switch the battery charger off and on once a day.
Please also read the documentation that was supplied together with the battery charger.
With integrated Battery Charger¶
Some robots feature an integrated battery charger. These robots can be charged by first plugging the charging cable into the robot’s charging socket and then plugging the other end into a normal power outlet as described above.
Always make sure that the charging connector is fully inserted into the socket and properly secured. An incomplete or insufficient connection can cause high heat and significant damages.
The charging process starts automatically once the connection to mains has been made. As with the external charger the robot can be charged both when switched on or off.
Both battery types used in Neobotix robots are leak proof and very safe.
They still contain highly reactive chemicals and must never be opened or damaged to avoid serious damage or injuries!
- Under European law all kinds of batteries must only be returned to certified recycling companies. Please get in touch with Neobotix if you are unsure about how to recycle or dispose of used batteries.
- You can also return all old or wasted batteries from your Neobotix product to Neobotix free of charge for proper recycling.
- Please make sure to fully cover the battery contacts to guarantee their electrical insulation before shipping or disposing of old batteries. This will prevent short circuiting, damages and injuries.