Volkswagen Develops EV Charging Robot
As electric vehicles become more common and affordable than ever before, companies are turning their attention to newer, faster and more efficient ways to charge them. For Volkswagen , this means a new prototype robot that can autonomously navigate a parking space and charge electric vehicles on demand.
The robot the auto giant is working on doesn’t have a name yet, so Volkswagen just calls it a “mobile charging robot,” which is practical enough. A large, tower-shaped boot with two chibi-style eyes adorned in its front display. The robot is designed for use in “limited parking spaces”, such as underground car parks or above ground car parks.
When placed in such an area, the bot will go to a vehicle, open the “charging socket cover” and then connect the charging plug. If a particular garage has multiple vehicles that need charging, the bot can move around a mobile energy storage unit. It will attach this device to a vehicle while continuing to search the garage for other cars that may have low battery power.
To be clear, drivers will need to initiate a top-up request from their smartphone before charging their bot vehicles. This could allow Volkswagen to commercialize this technology in the future through toll charge requests, but it also gives consumers an easy way to opt out if they prefer to do the charging themselves.
You can see how the bot works in the pre-created video above. We don’t have a real shot of the tech in action, so we can’t say for sure how far Volkswagen is from achieving its vision, but the idea is interesting and surprisingly practical. EV use continues to rise and traditional charging stations may not be able to keep up with demand, so this is a smart alternative.