Trickle charging batteries for a rover robot


I'm building a rover robot and I can't find information on how to recharge batteries like you can do with mobile phones so they still run while trickle charging.

I'm planning to buy 2 batteries, one for the arduino and intel galileo, and another for the wheel motors. I was thinking of something like 2 of these "1800mAh 11.1V 20C Li-Po Battery with Dual Interface for Parrot AR.Drone 2.0". The plan is to have a 5V regulator to feed into the arduinos to make the battery more efficient.

What I'd really like is to be able to charge the robot without having to take the batteries out, and then eventually create a charging platform for it so it can charge itself.

Can anyone direct me to a link or give me some info that I'll need to set this up with these batteries or other LiPo batteries? I'm very new to electronics, just completing the arduino starter kit, but I know how to program :)



Interesting project. I've been wanting to do the same thing for my Raspberry Pi / Arduino "Cakebot" robot. There are a number of challenges with this. First and foremost, you should understand that recharging LiPo batteries can be dangerous if not done properly. LiPos can catch fire and can explode during recharging. You would not want your home to burn down while the robot attempts to charge itself. An 11.1V LiPo battery is usually a 3S, or 3 cell battery. In order to properly charge those, you need a balance charger that is specifically designed to handle 3 LiPo sells. This usually also means that there are sense wires coming from each individual cell in the pack and these would normally be monitored during charging. Come to think of it - probably the best thing to do is have the charging circuit on the robot itself. That way you only have 2 terminals that must make contact to begin charging.

I'll also mention that I have a Turnigy LiPo battery charger with a 16x2 LCD that handles between 1 to 6 sell LiPos. There is a menu system on the charger and you have to properly select the right kind of battery for charging. Not suggesting you put one of these on your robot, but wanted to tell you that they have an ATMega micro inside. Dave Jones of eevblog did a teardown of one of these on his YouTube channel... there's quite a lot going on inside.

Thanks for your reply. Not as easy as I thought it'd be :) I'll check out trying to find a charger for 6 cells that can be added to the robot.