Mobile Charging Robot explained
Good news! The Mobile Charging Robot is a new, revolutionary prototype that autonomously roams a car park and charges electric vehicles, Volkswagen Group Components stated. But why is it needed?
Like many motorists, you might be tempted to switch your traditional car that burns fossil fuel for a more eco-friendly electric alternative. However, you might be put off as it can be tricky to find public chargers to top-up the battery in such a car.
For example, most car parks have no electric car chargers whatsoever (in UK). Even better equipped facilities typically only have a few chargers relative to the number of spaces. This is partly because it is time consuming, expensive, and disruptive to fit electric chargers – particularly for every space in a car park.
How Mobile Charging Robot works
The Mobile Charging Robot might minimise some such issues. Why? Because it can autonomously roam a car park and recharge any suitable vehicle in any space. This ensures there is no need to:
- fit chargers in every parking bay (which should reduce the time and money required to serve a large number of vehicles)
- park in designated bays (which should make your life easier).
The Mobile Charging Robot is still a prototype so the technical details are sketchy. However, we know that it looks somewhat reminiscent of R2-D2 (Star Wars) and it tows a ‘mobile energy storage device’. Furthermore, it is capable of operating autonomously via cameras, lasers and ultrasonic sensors. The Robot:
- tows its mobile energy storage device to your vehicle
- communicates with your car (without a wired connection)
- opens the recharge flap in your car’s bodywork
- connects the storage device to your vehicle
- leaves to perform other tasks
- collects the storage device once your car has been charged
- closes the recharge flap in your vehicle’s bodywork.
The Robot has access to several mobile energy storage devices so multiple vehicles can be charged simultaneously. In turn, these devices can be recharged at a charging station within the car park.
Volkswagen Group Components Head of Development, Mark Möller, praised the company’s prototype. He said: ‘The Mobile Charging Robot will spark a revolution when it comes to charging in different parking facilities such as multi-storey car parks, parking spaces, and underground car parks – because we bring the recharging infrastructure to the car and not the other way around.’
‘With this, we are making almost every car park electric without any complex individual infrastructural measures. It is a visionary prototype that can be made into reality quite quickly’, he claimed.