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Volkswagen's Star Wars-inspired 'bot is the droid your electric car's been looking for
If you happen to have forgotten to get your trusty Volkswagen electric vehicle a gift this holiday season, fear not, for the German automotive firm has just released a new video showcasing its whimsical autonomous charging robot to aid your car, complete with chirping R2-D2 droid noises and Terminator vibe.
With its cute digital eyeballs, this industrious little robot will tow batteries to vehicles in parking garage stalls where it will hook up to start the charging process. While this is still just a prototype for future use as Volkswagen ramps up its production of EV models deeper into the decade, it's still a clever solution to the issue of installing individual charging stations in parking places.
The Volkswagen Group's mobile charging robot will continue to be refined and developed over the next few years to expand and fortify the company's charging infrastructure to meet the growing demand.
Have a look at the jaunty, battery-juicing 'bot in action!
In the second video below, Volkswagen depicts a simulated motorist pulling his car into a garage stall and employing a smart phone app to alert the charging robot that their depleted vehicle needs power, pronto! The robot then quickly connects to a mobile energy storage unit, which is essentially a battery on wheels, then hauls it over to the electric vehicle in need of sustenance and plugs it in to start charging.
As the nourishing electricity is transferred, the robot can roll on back to its home base while it waits to retrieve the rolling battery, or simply grab another mobile energy storage unit and service a second vehicle, all of it accomplished without the need for a live human attendant.
Robotic systems such as these are a great alternative for parking structures and individual garages to be equipped with their own EV charging stations, with a ready fleet of portable battery packs all loaded up and ready to attend to the needs of thirsty VW automobiles emptied of their precious voltage.