Unplugged’s industrial-grade inductive modules provide wireless power and data transfer for industry. The technology enables advanced operations not possible or practical with metallic connectors. “Our inductive modules operate in any industrial environment, from the ocean depths to hazardous offshore Ex zones,” says Dr Thomas J.J. Meyer, CEO of Unplugged.
Old-school metallic connectors lack the versatility to transfer power for many of today’s advanced technological applications. “The ability to ‘park’ an asset, such as an EV, e-boat, e-bike, power tool or smartphone, and charge it without needing to do anything has enormous potential,” says Meyer.
“How long has it been since you stood up from the sofa and went to change the channel by clicking a button on the TV? Twenty years? Would you buy a TV without a remote control these days?” he asks.
“No. The principle is the same when the user needs to actively plug a battery-powered asset into the wall. Soon this minor inconvenience will disappear.”
Unplugged™ delivers industrial-grade inductive modules that transfer wireless power, regardless of the environmental conditions. The technology uses electromagnetism to achieve this.
“Unplugged technology has world-class performance. Our modules transfer power from 30W to 5kW with efficiencies reaching 95 per cent. In fact, our couplers can be seen as wireless variable power supply with low heat loss,” says Meyer.
In addition to wireless power, the modules incorporate a full duplex data communication channel, allowing for simultaneous power and data transfer capabilities. Four different communication channels are available: gigabit (proprietary), ethernet, RS232, and RS485.
“Our modules transfer wireless data at speeds up to 1 Gpbs,” he adds.
Designed to be plug and play, ultra-compact and cost effective, the standard modules can be embedded quickly into a range of products. The company also provides end-to-end support for integration and customer design requests.
Unplugged™ inductive modules can operate in any industrial environment, creating new potential for wireless power transfer.
“We have delivered inductive modules for subsea applications at 3 000 metres with a 15-year lifetime, and our modules use the magnetic field to guide autonomous robots to dock accurately,” says Meyer.
Other areas of application include urban micromobility for tidier, cleaner cities and robotic systems that improve worker safety. In addition, Unplugged is working on projects on robotic hot tool swap and on inductive power and communication transfer through steel to enable the instrumentation of sensors in unreachable areas.
The global wireless power transmission industry is projected to reach USD 20.3 billion by 2027. Unplugged’s versatile technology puts the company in a strong position to become a market leader.
Currently, Unplugged™ is targeting the robotic, power tool and automated guided vehicle (AGV) markets. Its daughter companies have a different focus. “We own Subsea USB for subsea inductive solutions and MobiDock, which delivers inductive docking stations for e-bikes and e-scooters. This is just the start of many possibilities,” says Meyer.
The module is typically marketed as white label; thus, the Unplugged name does not have to appear on the innovative solutions it is helping. Unplugged has delivered systems to Equinor, Saipem, Oceaneering and Husqvarna, among others, and has signed a framework agreement with Blue Logic for subsea applications.
7. Affordable and clean energy
Unplugged inductive modules have the potential to support technological advancements in renewable energy production.
8. Decent work and economic growth
Unplugged inductive modules operate in hazardous Ex zones, keeping workers out of harm’s way.
9. Industry, innovation and infrastructure
Unplugged inductive modules can facilitate the proliferation of sustainable methods in various industries.
11. Sustainable cities and communities
Unplugged inductive modules are used in electrical equipment, robots, and e-scooter/e-bike charging and parking stations, promoting smarter, more sustainable cities.
14. Life below water
Unplugged inductive modules enable wireless power transfer in subsea environments, reducing the impact of subsea industry on the marine ecosystem.