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Check out VW’s cute mobile charging robot

Autonomous robot could roam underground car parks looking for EVs to charge

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Meet Volkswagen’s new prototype charging robot, which allows for “fully autonomous charging of vehicles in restricted parking areas, like underground car parks”.

Conceived as a more cost-efficient way of electrifying existing parking infrastructure, the idea is the cute little robot hauls a mobile charger to your car, plugs it in, then returns later to pick it up when you need to leave (or your battery’s full).

In the meantime the robot services other cars, delivering other mobile chargers to vehicles and returning empty ones to a central charging station to be topped-up and re-used. The entire charging process is autonomous, says VW. The robot opens the charge flap (or asks the car to do it via car-to-X communication) and connects/disconnects the cable all by itself.

The system is very much in the prototype stage currently, with VW promising it’s headed for comprehensive further development. It cautions that “one of the prerequisites for market maturity” is that car-to-X communication tech that would allow an EV to effectively communicate with the robot and charger.

Like the idea? Or scared of what the robots might do?

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