A few years ago, at an event called Future Mobility Day, Volkswagen Group representatives showed the public a small robot that could charge an electric car by connecting to it and pumping the energy contained in the internal battery into its batteries. And recently, representatives of the automotive giant introduced an updated version of this robot, which is now not a single module, which, in turn, allows this robot to serve several cars at once.
The 2017 robot was, in fact, a large battery on wheels, which was able to independently get and connect to the car. In the new robot, the main brain and the automated manipulator have become a separate part, capable of towing a trailer with a high-capacity battery, which also contains a power electronics system that provides fast charging. The charger power is 50 kW, and the trailer battery capacity is 25 kW * h.
A request to charge the car is received by the robot using a special application for a smartphone or from the electric vehicle itself, which is included in the V2X (vehicle-to-everything) common communication system. The robot, having hooked the trailer with a charged battery, goes to the car, connects the trailer to it, after which it can perform tasks for servicing other cars, and not wait for the completion of the charging process of one car.
If such a charging system includes a sufficient number of battery trailers, then one robot in one night can cope with charging a parking lot that is almost completely clogged with electric cars. At the same time, the cost of such a system will not be too high, since all the main expensive components, cameras, laser scanners, ultrasonic sensors, computer “brains”, etc. are present in it in single copies, being installed only on the main module of the robot.
Representatives of Volkswagen believe that such robotic systems will be able to solve the problem in places where the deployment of a full-fledged infrastructure of charging stations is impractical or impossible for various reasons.
“Such mobile robots will be an ideal solution when it comes to charging electric vehicles in multi-storey, underground parking lots and other places with limited space. In our case, there is no need to park the car near the charging station, this station will come to the car itself,” says Mark Muller, the head of the profile department at the Volkswagen Group, “In this way, we can quickly electrify any parking lot. And, as we think, the prototypes we created quickly turn into real things as soon as Blema with charging electric vehicles pick up some weight”.