An autonomous robot capable of recharging electric cars was presented by Volkswagen in what is defined, in the press release that appeared on the website of the German company itself, as “a look into the future in which the search for charging stations ends.”
The self-propelled robot, called the V2X, is started via a command that can be issued with an app on the smartphone. Once started, it approaches the vehicle and literally communicates with it: it opens the door of the charging socket and inserts the plug with the corresponding energy storage.
Without any human interaction, the battery starts charging, during which time the robot can disconnect and, for example, recharge other cars using the same method. When the charging process of the car battery is finished, the robot approaches again and disconnects the battery, closes the door and returns the battery to its charging station.
Each battery will have an energy content of 25 kWh each when fully charged. In order to move around and not collide with cars, walls and various structures, the robot uses cameras, laser scanners and ultrasonic sensors. This means that it can also recognize and dodge obstacles, such as moving cars.
There is talk of a real “revolution” on the Volkswagen site as future electric car parks could be equipped with such robots that would literally make us forget the existence of gas stations. As Mark Möller, head of Volkswagen Group Components, admits, however, this is a visionary prototype that can become a reality if the general conditions are right.
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