Volkswagen Group Components recently unveiled a mobile charging robot prototype that can autonomously charge your electric car without the need for any human interaction.
“It’s a visionary prototype, which can be made into reality quite quickly, if the general conditions are right,” Mark Möller, head of development at Volkswagen Group Components, said in a statement.
With a signal via an app or V2X communication, the mobile robot drives itself to the vehicle that needs charging and communicates with it. Cameras, laser scanners, and ultrasonic sensors guide the bots to both navigate parking areas and find a car’s charging port. Several of these machines could operate in a single garage. The mobile robot brings a trailer in the form of a mobile energy storage device to the vehicle and connects them; it then uses this energy storage device to charge the battery of the electric vehicle. The mobile energy storage device stays with the vehicle during the whole charging process. Once the charging service is complete, the robot collects the energy storage device and brings it back to the charging station. Each battery pack can hold about 25 kWh and can top up the battery of a vehicle at a rate of 50 kW.
The use of mobile charging robots could eliminate the need for dedicated parking spots outfitted with electric car chargers.
“The mobile charging robot will spark a revolution when it comes to charging in different parking facilities, such as multi-story 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,” summarises Möller.
VW does not have a possible release date for the charging robot.