Autonomous robot auto-docking and energy management systems and methods

  • US 8,461,803 B2
  • Filed: 12/29/2006
  • Issued: 06/11/2013
  • Est. Priority Date: 01/21/2004
  • Status: Active Grant
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First Claim
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1. A method of charging a battery of a device at a base station, the method comprising the steps of:

  • providing a non-charging, sensing energy at charging contacts of the base station;

    confirming docking of the device across the charging contacts of the base station by recognizing a specific load identifying a voltage divider including a first circuit in the base station combined with a complementary second charging circuit in the device powered by the battery;

    in response to recognizing the specific load, increasing energy available from the charging contacts of the base station from the non-charging, sensing energy to a charging energy available to charge the battery;

    detecting the presence of the charging energy at the charging contacts of the device; and

    in response to detecting the presence of the charging energy at the charging contacts of the device, changing the state of a switch within the device to allow charging energy to energize the device, wherein confirming docking of the device across the charging contacts of the base station comprises checking for the specific load at regular intervals, the regular intervals comprising intervals of 10 times per second to once per minute.

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