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Analysis and design of a novel power supply for mobile robots

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3 Author(s)
Raade, J.W. ; Dept. of Mech. Eng., California Univ., Berkeley, CA, USA ; Kazerooni, H. ; McGee, T.G.

We have developed a novel device to supply hydraulic power for anaerobic mobile robotic systems. This power source is capable of operation in environments with no oxygen, such as underwater and space. The design, unlike the internal combustion engine, produces power on demand, eliminating idling when there is no load on the system. Steam and oxygen are the only byproducts of this power supply. This monopropellant-powered free piston hydraulic pump (FPHP) was designed as a human scale (1.0 to 3.0 kW) power supply. The FPHP utilizes high concentration hydrogen peroxide, which decomposes into hot gas when exposed to a catalyst, as the monopropellant energy source. Energy is extracted from the hydrogen peroxide and transferred directly to hydraulic fluid by expanding the hot decomposition gas in an integrated piston/cylinder arrangement. Based upon a specific power and specific energy analysis using a Ragone plot, the performance of the FPHP potentially exceeds that of a battery based hydraulic power supply for short operation times.

Published in:

Robotics and Automation, 2004. Proceedings. ICRA '04. 2004 IEEE International Conference on  (Volume:5 )

Date of Conference:

26 April-1 May 2004