WiBotic is coming out of stealth mode.
The University of Washington spin-out today revealed more details about its technology that wirelessly powers drones and other robotic devices.
WiBotic, originally founded within the UW’s electrical engineering and computer science departments, offers a wireless charging solution that includes battery management tools and fleet-level power optimization.
The year-old company says its product is more efficient than traditional plug-in charging technology because it allows drones and robots to charge autonomously, removing the need for human intervention while also increasing the lifetime of the battery itself.
When a drone or robot approaches WiBotic’s wireless charging platform, the batteries automatically start charging at the same rate — or sometimes faster — than traditional plug-in chargers.
“WiBotic is creating the infrastructure for robots to charge whenever and wherever— so companies can focus on robot tasks rather than keeping their robots charged,” WiBotic CEO and co-founder Ben Waters said in a statement. “Enabling better access to power and autonomous charging opens up a whole new world of possibilities for robots.”
WiBotic also said its adaptive near-field wireless charging technology provides higher efficiency than standard inductive and other resonant systems, while also minimizing maintenance costs. The product also works in varying weather conditions and underwater.
The wireless charging system consists of a transmitter and receiver.
WiBotic customers range from companies in industries like agriculture and medical, all the way to security, videography, and marine biology. The startup expects to bring on more clients, citing studies that estimate global spending on robotics and related services to grow to $135 billion by 2019.
Waters, who spoke at a UW Innovation Summit in Shanghai last year that GeekWire attended, founded WiBotic with UW professor Joshua Smith. The 10-person company, which received support from UW’s CoMotion startup hub, has raised $750,000 to date from W Fund, Wisemont, and the Washington Research Foundation. WiBotic is one of several startups to spin out of the UW in recent years.