The Volkswagen group has designed a mobile charging robot capable of navigating autonomously in parking areas. He can also power up an EV and return to his outpost without human intervention.
The charging robot prototype can be started via an application launched by the vehicle owner or the car-to-x communication. Once communication has started, the mobile charger turns on, two digital eyes open on the screen and he walks towards a vehicle.
The German automaker said in an official statement that the mobile charger opens the flap of the charging socket and connects or disconnects the socket. He pointed out that the mobile charger is also capable of moving and then connecting the vehicle to an energy storage unit. “Once the charge is complete, the robot picks up the mobile energy storage unit and returns it to a central charging station. The whole charging process takes place without any human interaction. Volkswagen said the mobile charging robot does not have a release date.
Thomas Schmall, Volkswagen Group Components, said in a statement that building an efficient charging infrastructure for the future is a central task that challenges the entire industry. “We are developing solutions to avoid costly stand-alone measures. The mobile charging robot and our flexible fast charging station are just two of those solutions, ”he said.
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Mark Moller, head of development at Volkswagen Group Components, said the mobile charging robot will spark a charging revolution in different parking facilities such as multi-storey car parks, parking lots and underground parking lots because the company brings the charging infrastructure to the car and not the other way around. “With this, we make almost all parking lots electric, without any complex individual infrastructure measures,” he explained. “It is a visionary prototype, which can be realized quite quickly, if the general conditions are met.”
The prototype consists of a compact, autonomous robot as well as flexible and agile energy storage devices, also known as battery cars. When fully charged, they are equipped with an energy content of approximately 25 kWh each. The robot, which can drive autonomously, is equipped with cameras, laser scanners and ultrasonic sensors.