BMW i3 batteries found their second life in ... robots

Degraded batteries from BMW i3 vehicles were used for self-driving robots.

4/16/16 5:00 am chumakdenis 1

It comes as no surprise that all Li-ion batteries lose their capacity within some time and batteries with more than 30% loss are considered to be unusable for electric vehicles -- I know ...you're thinking of your greedy friend-greenie that thinks his 5-year-old Leaf is as good as new and 10 miles on a single charge is Ok, but let's not focus on such 'perverts' --luckily for us, such cases are quite rare.

However, these batteries are more than good for anything else.

In a way of example, GM has built energy storage system from degraded batteries and..it seems that the company has set an example for others.

Bavarian luxurious automaker decided to follow this trend too and equipped its self-driving robots with battery modules from the i3 cars.

Not bad, huh?

Let's delve into details and learn more.

BMW Group self-driving robots

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Munich/Wackersdorf. In the hall of Supply Logistics, a self-driving robot maneuvers itself underneath a roller container with parts. Silently and with flashing lights, it picks up the container and begins to move through the logistics hall. The system is complicated and extensive; nobody can find their way around without a good sense of direction. But this is not a problem for the transport robot, which is about the size of a suitcase. Flanked by radio transmitters and equipped with a digital map, it drives independently to the destination of the goods. When tugger train cross its path, a fitted sensor identifies the obstacle and stops the utility robot with car parts loaded weighing up to half a ton.

Flanked by radio transmitters and equipped with a digital map, it drives independently to the destination of the goods. When tugger train crosses its path, a fitted sensor identifies the obstacle and stops the self-driving robot with car parts loaded weighing up to half a ton.

Digitization

In terms of smart logistics, the BMW Group is promoting innovative and trend-setting logistics systems.

5866.jpg“The development of the Smart Transport Robot is an important milestone for the BMW Group when it comes to digitization and autonomization in production logistics. This innovation project makes an important contribution to the agility of the supply chain in Logistics and Production. It enables the supply chain to adapt to changing external conditions quickly and flexibly,” comments Dr. Dirk Dreher, Vice President of Foreign Supply at the BMW Group.

Autonomous navigation in use

5863.jpgMeasuring its distance to three radio transmitters allows the robot to calculate its exact position and route. With the help of sensors, it identifies critical situations and can respond accordingly, sharing the route with people and other vehicles. At a later point when the innovation is being implemented in series operation, a 3D camera system will make navigation even more accurate.

At a later point, when the innovation is being implemented in series operation, a 3D camera system will make navigation even more accurate.
The transport robot will be able to function without the floor-mounted induction loops for navigation and will move freely within space. The battery-powered radio transmitters mounted

The battery-powered radio transmitters mounted to the walls of the hall can be expanded to further areas in logistics flexibly without major effort and at low costs.

Utilization of recycled BMW i3 batteries

For the BMW Group, a self-driving robot tailored to meet the demands of the company’s supply logistics and production supply is the top priority. Besides custom-fit measurements for the containers to be transported, the vehicle also has sufficient battery capacity as the developers have drawn on the experience gained with BMW

Besides custom-fit measurements for the containers to be transported, the vehicle also has sufficient battery capacity -- BMW i3 battery module will provide eight hours worth of energy, covering a full shift.

Pilot project is being transferred to series operations

The BMW Group has partnered with the Fraunhofer Institute for this project. The collaboration under the label of the BMW Enterprise Lab for Flexible Logistics was established in September 2015. It aims to explore future solutions for logistics areas. Initial findings will be presented at the trade fair LogiMAT 2016 in Stuttgart at the stand of the Fraunhofer IML as well as in the forum “New transport robots – agile, strong, versatile”.

In the future, the Smart Transport Robot can be deployed in both packing areas and in assembly logistics. This step in the automation simplifies the materials procurement process for workers in packing departments and reduces the supply space in the supermarket. The self-driving robot is being developed and tested at the BMW Group’s Innovation Park in Wackersdorf. This center is the logistics hub for material management and just-in-sequence supply to BMW Group sites in ten different countries. Wackersdorf is also home to the cockpit production for several plants.

It aims to explore future solutions for logistics areas. Initial findings will be presented at the trade fair LogiMAT 2016 in Stuttgart at the stand of the Fraunhofer IML as well as in the forum “New transport robots – agile, strong, versatile”.

In the future, the Smart Transport Robot can be deployed in both packing areas and in assembly logistics. This step in the automation simplifies the materials procurement process for workers in packing departments and reduces the supply space in the supermarket. The self-driving robot is being developed and tested at the BMW Group’s Innovation Park in Wackersdorf. This center is the logistics hub for material management and just-in-sequence supply to BMW Group sites in ten different countries. Wackersdorf is also home to the cockpit production for several plants.

More robots

We don’t know how many recycled batteries have been used to power up robots, but it seems that after selling 50,000 plug-ins, some have become available – or, perhaps, in this case, BMW is actually using new units, but the possibility of it is low as hell--who on Earth would do it?

Anyway, soon we'll have much more self-driving robots, energy storage systems, and other cool stuff alike.

Let's thank BMW for that and wait more news from them.

  bmw i3 modules second life of degraded batteries smart transportation vehicle autonomous driving self-driving robot german company self-driving robots degraded bmw i3 batteries degraded batteries bmw i3 batteries bmw

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