A Guide to Understanding LiPo Batteries – (by Roger’s Hobby Center) – A comprehensive walk through of Lithium Polymer batteries (aka “LiPo” batteries). These are very common in robotic sports and require special handling to use properly and safely.

LiPo BatteriesNiMH Batteries
– Much lighter weight, and can be made in almost any size or shape.
– Much higher capacities, allowing them to hold much more power.
– Much higher discharge rates, meaning they pack more punch.
– Longer lifespan than LiPos, usually into the 1,000 cycles range
– Much less sensitive, and doesn’t usually pose a fire risk
– Simpler chargers and routines required for use.
– Much shorter lifespan; LiPos average only 150–250 cycles.
– The sensitive chemistry can lead to fire if the battery gets punctured.
– Need special care for charging, discharging, and storage.
– Much heavier, and limited on size.
– Lower average capacity, and less efficient overall.
– Lower discharge rates; they lack tremendous punch.

Helpful Links and Additional Resources

Battery Capacity Calculations – Robert Cowan’s great Youtube video tutorial on how to choose the right amp hours needed for your bot to compete without running out of power mid-match!