Safe, Automated Power supply for Small Autonomous Vehicles and Robots

Safe, Automated Power supply for Small Autonomous Vehicles and Robots

One challenge with small autonomous vehicles is the need to supply them energy in an easy and safe way. To our knowledge, most mobile autonomous robots currently are unable to receive continuous, automated power supply to be truly considered autonomous.

To address this challenge, researchers at Kansas State University have designed, fabricated, and tested a new battery pack to give small autonomous vehicles a safe, convenient battery management system to utilize. Using an algorithm, the battery pack can be periodically replaced by autonomous means, i.e. using unmanned aerial vehicles or unmanned ground vehicles (UAVs/UGVs).

Key features of the battery pack include:

  • Easily changeable by either manual or autonomous (drone, robot) means; has a grapple-ready cap that can be attached to a drone via a mechanism.
  • Allows for good contact with the receptacle to bring the battery to lock in place, either manually or with a drone.
  • Can be easily charged with a simple power supply.
  • A complete battery system, which includes cooling, management, and monitoring, makes it convenient and safe for small autonomous needs.
  • The location of the battery pack can be traced remotely, which is helpful when a drone is used to locate the landing correctly


  • Portable, Safe & Easy To Switch Using Either Manual or Autonomous Means
  • Trackable Location, Particularly For Autonomous Battery Replacement
  • Compatible with Li-ion and Li-polymer Batteries, For Widespread Power Applications

Commercial Applications:

Continuously or regularly powering small autonomous vehicles for various industries, such as:

  • Farming Robots
  • Delivery Robots
  • Gardening Robots
  • Remote applications (e.g. ocean buoys, weather sensors)

Additional Details

Owner: Kansas State University

IP Protection Status: Patent Issued