A single of the most significant hurdles to prevalent EV adoption is the charging infrastructure. Carving out a couple of devoted spaces or location up charging stations at each parking lot will consider time and cash, but Volkswagen is doing the job on a answer that permits an EV to be charged from any standard parking room: robots. And now it has moved over and above the idea stage to a true prototype.
Named only the “mobile charging robot,” which we will call MCR for small, the squat, R2-D2-like droid life in a committed charging bay that can be put in in any corner of a standard city parking garage. It even has a welcoming robotic experience with Lcd eyes that “open up” when it is really called and a tiny extendable arm. Together with it are many trailers comprised of battery stacks that cost in the bay when not in use.
When an EV driver pulls into the great deal, they can pick any parking space they like and, by using a smartphone app, explain to the robot they’d like a demand. The MCR wakes up, grabs an out there trailer with its arm, and provides the trailer to the automobile. The trailers don’t have an autonomous perform, but the droid is good sufficient to avoid obstructions and traffic in the garage. Once at the motor vehicle, the arm aids plug the connector into the charging port and the Wall-E-like ‘bot is free of charge to go to to other autos and trailers. No human intervention is needed.
It truly is a rather clever alternative, and a single that will not likely involve a massive revamp of current parking structures. What’s much more, VW hints that this is just the commencing. “We are establishing answers to assist avoid costly stand-by itself steps. The mobile charging robotic and our flexible swift-charging station are just two of these alternatives,” states Thomas Schall, CEO of Volkswagen Group Elements.
Volkswagen suggests that the process is already going through testing in Germany, and has effectively arrived at the prototype stage. The firm suggests it will be introduced in early 2021.