I am considering using GoPiGo for a project that will turn it into an intelligent autonomous vehicle that will do various things all by itself for the long term without human intervention. As such it’s important that it is capable of returning to a home station and recharge itself when needed. As such I am looking for a way to retro-fit GoPiGo with something like a Qi wireless charger, perhaps also replacing the battery pack with a Qi-capable external power pack that is capable of 9v-12v output. Has anybody done this sort of thing? Any better ideas?
You can use any 9-12V Battery. YOu might be able to do it with a Qi wireless charger, but if you’re willing to cut some wires, you might be able to do better (and less expensive). I wonder if you couldn’t attach probes to the side of the GoPiGo that could connect with a docking station, and charge a battery that way? Does it need to be wireless?
Is this the Qi charger you’re considering? http://amzn.to/1J6jjf5
The problem with them is that they look like they’re USB/Mobile chargers and that usually operates at 5V. 5V isn’t enough to really drive the GoPiGo, especially if you use a Raspberry Pi 2.
Yes, your link to Amazon is the type of Qi charger that I have in mind. I did find other Qi transmitters (like this http://afdpower.en.alibaba.com/product/913029476-218781306/Qi_Compatible_wireless_charging_transmitter_module_9V_solution.html) that are capable of dealing with 9v or 12v, so voltage shouldn’t be an issue. It would be good to hear from people who have done this in order to make this easier.
The DIY method you mentioned is actually not that trivial, since I will have to build a somewhat elaborate docking station that supplies the right power and with the contact points in the right place, and the docking navigation will also be harder than using wireless charging. I looked into the wireless charging thing mainly because it appears to be simpler, because the docking station will be just a Qi transmitter, and navigation will involve only moving to a marker on the floor with wide tolerance.
Without auto-recharge capability for this autonomous GoPiGo, it would be a real chore having to constantly replace its batteries all the time.
Agreed, the method I came up with is not trivial. But you’re not asking for a trivial thing.