Someone has finally constructed R2D2! Oh wait, it is actually the charging robot exclusively designed for electric vehicles by Volkswagen. After one year of development and testing, this bold concept is now finally making its official debut.
Volkswagen showcased the concept of a charging robot for the first time about a year ago, and even though the innovative idea had generated static, it was criticized for its feasibility. Now, the company officially announced that the prototype for the charging robot has been completed, and will enter the field test phase to prepare for launch.
This R2D2-like object has been given a rather boring name, charging robot, which is activated through the smartphone App or the automotive system, and will move to the side of the vehicle once it is parked, before opening the charging lid and inserting the charger into the vehicle to replenish power. When the charging procedure is complete, the robot will detach the charger and close the lid, and step away from the vehicle. The entire seamless process does not require any human resources.
Thomas Schmall, CEO of Volkswagen, emphasized that charging infrastructure is the largest challenge for electric vehicles, and the company is currently looking for low cost and high power charging methods amongst various solutions, with the charging robot simply being one of them. Volkswagen has also found a good friend for the charging robot, but no, it is not C3PO.
This good friend also comes with an ordinary name, flexible quick-charging station, which simply put, is a massive battery installed with wheels and a charger that charges vehicles parked at various locations of a car park like the trolleys at traditional yum cha joints.
Volkswagen is prepared to officially launch this simpler device in early 2021 in order to provide a flexible charging method for car owners, as well as mitigate on the issue of insufficient charging spots. According to the conception of Volkswagen, the charging robot may be capable of dragging a portable charging station in the future and charge two vehicles simultaneously, before pushing the charging station back to the charging base to refill power.
There are still numerous issues to be resolved for the charging robot to fully exert its advantages. However, isn’t it easier to cover the entire car park with charging stations, if it is only parked with electric vehicles? Don’t want to charge while holding the charger? Sure, since we all have our own preferences. Nonetheless, these various innovative solutions are the forces in propelling the popularization of electric vehicles, such as the charging snake of Tesla, lateral pillar charging of BMW, and the wireless charging parking spot that is currently being developed by a number of automotive manufacturers. It will be perfect if the charging robot is designed as the same dimension as BB-8.
Feel free to share with us any innovative charging methods that you can think of.
(Photo source: Volkswagen)