Design, Build, Test, Iterate

Powered by Apple! (Running my kiwi drive robot off a MacBook Pro battery)

A few months ago, a friend had a MacBook Pro battery that started swelling up. He agreed to let me have it, and now it has wheels:

Kiwi drive robot, now powered by a MacBook Pro battery.

Kiwi drive robot, now powered by a MacBook Pro battery.

The battery is 3S 2P (3 series, 2 parallel = 6 cells), so it peaks at 12.6 V. This is pretty much the highest voltage the motors can take before starting to take damage, but they spin fast!

The choice to mount it upright was a bad one, but the maze solving competition limits all robots to an 8×8 inch square, so the robot has a shark fin now, which makes it awesome.

The power port was conveniently shaped for me to etch a PCB and get access to the pins. After that, mounting the battery to the robot was a piece of cake.

Ye shall be called Jaws. Actually, I named it Tweedledee.



10 Comments

  1. [...] reasonable thing and donated it to be used in a robot. Now [Soo-Hyun]‘s kiwi drive robot is powered by a gigantic LiPo battery, giving it a huge range and a very fast top [...]

  2. [...] the reasonable thing and donated it to be used in a robot. Now [Soo-Hyun]‘s kiwi drive robot is powered by a gigantic LiPo battery, giving it a huge range and a very fast top [...]

  3. [...] reasonable thing and donated it to be used in a robot. Now [Soo-Hyun]‘s kiwi drive robot is powered by a gigantic LiPo battery, giving it a huge range and a very fast top [...]

  4. [...] the reasonable thing and donated it to be used in a robot. Now [Soo-Hyun]‘s kiwi drive robot is powered by a gigantic LiPo battery, giving it a huge range and a very fast top [...]

  5. [...] reasonable thing and donated it to be used in a robot. Now [Soo-Hyun]‘s kiwi drive robot is powered by a gigantic LiPo battery, giving it a huge range and a very fast top [...]

  6. [...] I made this motor driver for my kiwi drive robot. Just go look at the pictures at the bottom of this post. There really isn’t much to circuit [...]

  7. Ashar says:

    how would you recharge it, if you have to? Put back in the macbook?

    • Soo-Hyun says:

      I charge it by applying 12.6 V to the leads from a current-limited power supply. The extra leads of the battery are not balance leads. I know these Apple batteries have some circuitry inside, and I can only presume that they take care of balancing the cells for me.

  8. Nice one! Neat little robo with Steve Jobs heart :)

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