German carmaker Volkswagen has unveiled an adorable new robot that finds your vehicle in order to charge it without any human input whatsoever. "From opening the charging socket flap to connecting the plug to decoupling – the entire charging process occurs without any human interaction," stated the firm's press release.
An efficient robot
The robot can also charge more than one car at a time. It does so by hooking up a mobile battery pack to each car.
Each battery pack can deliver a combined 50kW to your car on request. That may not be enough to recharge your vehicle fully, but it is enough to keep you going for a while.
“The mobile charging robot will spark a revolution when it comes to charging in different parking facilities, such as multistorey car parks, parking spaces, and underground car parks because we bring the charging infrastructure to the car and not the other way around. With this, we are making almost every car park electric, without any complex individual infrastructural measures," said in a statement Mark Möller, Head of Development at Volkswagen Group Components.
A visionary prototype
“It’s a visionary prototype, which can be made into reality quite quickly, if the general conditions are right”
The concept is very practical and very clever. It eliminates both the problems of seeking a parking station with electric vehicle charging capabilities and the potential that a charging station might be blocked by another car.
“Even the well-known problem of a charging station being blocked by another vehicle will no longer exist with our concept. You simply choose any parking space as usual. You can leave the rest to our electronic helper," Möller said.
The prototype has the potential to electrify every parking space while reducing the costs of building charging stations. “This approach has an enormous economic potential”, said Möller.
“The constructional work as well as the costs for the assembly of the charging infrastructure can be reduced considerably through the use of the robots.”