Electric Vehicle charging robot brings the recharge to you
Volkswagen provides a glimpse into a future in which the search for charging stations for electric cars is a thing of the past, instead it’s mobile charging robot takes over this task – and drives to the electric car completely autonomously.
After it’s requested, the mobile robot drives itself to the vehicle that needs charging and complete the process fully autonomously, from opening the charging socket flap to connecting the plug to decoupling – the entire charging process occurs without any human interaction. At least, thats the idea behind the latest concept from Volkswagen
The mobile robot brings 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 storage device stays with the vehicle during the whole charging process. The robot, in the meantime, goes off to charge other electric vehicles. Once the charging service is complete, the robot collects the energy storage device and brings it back to the charging station.
“This is just one idea that Volkswagen has been investigating as they look into the challenges with the charging infrastructure. “It’s a visionary prototype, which can be made into reality quite quickly, if the general conditions are right”, Volkswagen claim.
This proposal is limited to use in car parks at present. The prototype consists of a compact, self-driving robot as well as flexible and agile energy storage devices, also known as battery wagons. When fully charged, these are equipped with an energy content of around 25 kWh each. A charging robot can move several battery wagons at the same time. The robot, which can drive autonomously, is fitted with cameras, laser scanners and ultrasonic sensors. The combination of these systems not only allows the robot to carry out the charging process completely autonomously but also to move around freely in the parking area, to recognise possible obstacles and to react to these. Depending on the size of the parking area or the underground car park, several charging robots can be employed simultaneously so that several vehicles can be attended to.
The British motor Show will be showcasing all the latest automotive Technology, including hosting The AFC Energy Alternative Drive expErience at the show, where visitors will be able to test drive a variety of alternatively fuelled vehicles. Get your tickets now to the event hosted at Farnborough between 20th – 23rd August.