With electric vehicles comprising an increasingly large percentage of automobile sales, governments and manufacturers are seeking novel ways of implementing the necessary infrastructure needed to accommodate the ever-growing number of proton-powered rides on the road. And the development team at Volkswagen have just introduced their latest idea on how to bestow existing structures with EV charging capabilities with a new autonomous charging robot system.
The concept uses a robot, fitted with cameras, Lidar, and other ultrasonic sensors that enable the self-piloted machine to guide itself around a parking lot. Summoned via a special app or by V2X communication, the robot is paired with a handful of what VW calls “battery wagons,” rolling 25kWh power banks that the smart robot can use to autonomously recharge a parked electric car. Said robot uses a five-hinged robotic arm to automatically open charging ports, connect, or decouple the chargers. The robots can also deploy multiple battery wagons to be used simultaneously on multiple cars, and when complete recollect the rolling power banks and reconnect them to a power supply for recharging. Still currently just in the concept stage and not yet earmarked to enter production, this autonomous car gadget is just one of VW’s ongoing charging infrastructure initiatives, which includes plans to install some 36,000 across Europe by 2025, as well as the launch of the ID.Charger home charging wall-box.