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Ivan Kirigin's views on Robotics & Culture: future. perfect. progress.

Monday, October 10, 2005

"Splashpower wants to cut the charger cord"

You can use them while jogging, take them into the woods or ride with them on the open sea, but portable gadgets still need to head back to base every time their batteries need recharging. The power cord remains the final connection to the wired world for many devices now that technologies like Bluetooth are replacing data cables — but it too might be going away if a U.K. start-up gets its way.

Splashpower Ltd., established as the result of a business competition at Cambridge University, has developed a wireless charging system that uses electromagnetic induction to accomplish wireless charging of devices.

“It’s basically the concept of creating a magnetic field that goes parallel to the surface of the pad rather than out of the pad and this has many benefits,” said Lily Cheng, chief executive officer and cofounder of the company, speaking at a news conference. “It enables us to deliver a very uniform output across the pad and enables us to make a receiver coil that is very thin.”

This could be huge. A big reason robots lack deployment on par with their abilities is that their abilities are very shortlived due to poor battery technology. In certain environments, most notably the home, this could change if charging were constant.


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