Battery Breakthrough?


If you are into robots, chances are you care about battery technology since it’s a big deal for us robot geeks. Power supply is one of the Achilles heels robotics is trying to overcome. We certainly won’t do it with today’s batteries. Today’s batteries are:

1) Heavy
2) Short Lived
3) Timely to Charge

These three issues make current batteries pretty inefficient for use in small mobile robotics applications. It does give one a pause of respect for the efficiency of nature in power supply. A sandwich weighing half a pound can power a 180 pound human for half a day! Not too bad.

Needless to say, when news of companies talking about ground breaking changes in electrical power storage our ears perk up. These companies may be thinking about products such as cell phones and cars, but we think robots!

A Texas company says it can make a new ultracapacitor power system to replace the electrochemical batteries in everything from cars to laptops.

A secretive Texas startup developing what some are calling a “game changing” energy-storage technology broke its silence this week. It announced that it has reached two production milestones and is on track to ship systems this year for use in electric vehicles.

EEStor’s ambitious goal, according to patent documents, is to “replace the electrochemical battery” in almost every application, from hybrid-electric and pure-electric vehicles to laptop computers to utility-scale electricity storage.

The company boldly claims that its system, a kind of battery-ultracapacitor hybrid based on barium-titanate powders, will dramatically outperform the best lithium-ion batteries on the market in terms of energy density, price, charge time, and safety. Pound for pound, it will also pack 10 times the punch of lead-acid batteries at half the cost and without the need for toxic materials or chemicals, according to the company.

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