It is desirable that robots would be, as much as possible, autonomous and self-sufficient. This requires that they can perform their duties while maintaining enough energy to operate. This paper presents the preliminary results for the design of a power supply system of an autonomous robot. Robot design is divided into four primary areas: energy storage, actuation, power and control. It is obvious that there are many relationships among these phases so as matter of fact they have to be analyzed in parallel to optimize a robot, especially from the energetic point of view. In particular, a power supply solution that utilizes solar cells and a microcontroller have been chosen to power and control an hybrid robot, named TriBot. Finally, initial tests with a probe-loaded robot prototype have demonstrated the feasibility of the solution.
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