Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: How is the robot powered?
A: The robot contains a 12V lead-acid NP18-12B rechargable battery. The NP18-12B has capacity of 17.2Ah, so after a full charge, it could supply 17.2 Amps over a period of 1 hour.
Q: Is the battery dangerous ?
A: Possibly. If connected to a circuit with low resistance (for example, if the battery terminals were to touch a person’s tongue or wet hands), the battery will supply a large amount of current which could be painful and dangerous. Do not touch battery terminals and do not wear jewelry such as necklaces near the battery.
Lead-acid batteries contain corrosive chemicals which could be dangerous to touch, however this battery is sealed to prevent leakage.
Q: How do we prevent damage if a short-circuit does occur?
A: If a short circuit occurs, a large amount of current will flow through all the components that are connected to the battery circuit. To prevent damage to expensive devices, we include a device called a circuit breaker which “flips”, breaking the circuit when the current exceeds a specified limit. The robot’s circuit breaker is 120A and is connected between the battery and the power distribution panel. In addition, each section of the the power distribution panel includes fuses which are rated appropriately for the expected current. For example, the section of the power distribution panel supplying power to the motor contains 40A fuses.
Q: How are other devices connected to the battery?
The power distribution panel provides a safe, convenient way of connecting various devices to power using a set of preconfigured output channels, and provides feedback to the roboRIO regarding the power used by those channels.
Q: How is the battery recharged?
A: What other battery maintenance is required?