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36Kr/KrASIA

Singapore wireless charging startup Xnergy gets $10m war chest

Tech for autonomous industrial robots aims to raise production efficiency

Xnergy's wireless charger can charge any type of robot or battery, the company says. (Photo Courtesy of Xnergy)

BEIJING -- Wireless charging technology developer Xnergy has raised just under $10 million from FineWill in a pre-Series A funding round aimed at developing the Chinese market.

Founded in Singapore in 2017, Xnergy develops wireless charging technology for autonomous robots. Its main product is a charging stand that functions regardless of the type of robot or battery used.

Xnergy began mass-production of its charging stand on a relatively small scale last September. It currently ships 100 to 200 units a month.

Conventional charging with cables leads to a number of problems, including battery compatibility, restricted operating environments and high failure rates. Cable charging also require additional human labor.

Xnergy seeks to resolve these problems through high-power wireless charging. It achieves this with a patented coil designed to curb electromagnetic interference, a high-power converter and vector control technology.

The company's charging stand functions even when the battery is not aligned precisely with the charger. It has a margin of plus or minus 4 cm and can charge the battery from up to 7 cm away. The electrical current reaches more than 100 amperes during charging. And because it is wireless, no metal parts are exposed to the air, significantly improving safety.

Wireless charging also makes it possible to install charging stands along the robot's route, allowing it to recharge briefly as it performs works. This means the robot no longer needs to return to a specific charging station, greatly enhancing efficiency.

Xnergy's chargers are mainly found in factories. The company's technology is said to boost the return on investment for autonomous robots by more than 30%.

One application is in the clean rooms used in chipmaking, where cables cannot be used. The charging stands are also compatible with the multiple types of robots used in hospitals, auto plants and elsewhere, helping to lower costs.

Xnergy's product is standardized but can be customized to suit customer needs, the company says.

The startup's customers include big companies such as Singaporean robot maker ST Engineering, French warehouse robotics company Balyo and China's biggest robot manufacturer, Siasun Robot & Automation. It has also tied up with major German semiconductor manufacturer Infineon Technologies, Singapore's Changi General Hospital, French carmaker Peugeot and others.

With sales volume growing, Xnergy is focusing its attention on production and quality management by outsourcing sales to agents. Despite the global shortage of semiconductors, Xnergy has so far been able to procure chips smoothly, thanks to its partnership with Infineon.

Xnergy says it will launch a development center in Suzhou, China, next year to produce and localize a next-generation product, and develop an artificial intelligence platform.

Xnergy forecasts its sales will triple in the first half of 2021 from a year earlier. As its sales expand, the company also plans to expand the size of its technical support team.

36Kr, a Chinese tech news portal founded in Beijing in 2010, has more than 150 million readers worldwide. Nikkei announced a partnership with 36Kr on May 22, 2019.

For the Japanese version of this story, click here.

For the Chinese version, click here.

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