With the world’s population under quarantine, nature is showing signs of coming back to life, literally! With reports coming in globally – dolphins in the ports of Cagliari, China seeing clear blue skies to even fishes swimming in clear canal water of Venice, it is obvious that when humanity makes a true effort to save the world, nature responds! But present circumstances kept aside, how easy is it to make such eco-friendly changes to our infrastructure that can affect the population on such a global scale? This is one of the questions the designers at Volkswagen plan to resolve with their latest creation – the Mobile Charging Robots!
Yes, we know that Electric Vehicles are better for the environment but a permanent concern for me is running out of charge and having no way of recharging it. Petrol pumps, though effort-intensive originally, now form an essential network across the world and we depend on them with ease. It is this ease that Volkswagen’s robotic creation brings to EV charging at existing car hubs (parking lots, petrol pumps, car washes or practically any space where cars can aggregate) globally! The Mobile Charging Robot is one smart robot that acts as an attendant for your charging needs. The user parking into the existing space uses a phone app to communicate to the robot that the car needs to be charged. The robot drives itself to the car while carrying a mobile storage unit, known as “battery wagons” (each holding about 25kWh of power) along with itself. Equipped with cameras, laser scanners, and ultrasonic sensors, the robot can efficiently navigate any parking space. This allows the robot to guide the portable unit and watch over incoming traffic with ease. From opening the car flap, connecting the plug to decoupling, each part of the process happens without any human interaction. So the car owner can finish their errands in peace and to find their car recharged and ready to run on returning back! Simple, right?
“The mobile charging robot will spark a revolution when it comes to charging in different parking facilities, such as multistorey car parks, parking spaces, and underground car parks because we bring the charging 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”, summarises Mark Möller, Head of Development at Volkswagen Group Components. Möller continues: “Even the well-known problem of a charging station being blocked by another vehicle will no longer exist with our concept. You simply choose any parking space as usual. You can leave the rest to our electronic helper.” And yes, we agree, the beauty of this solution is the minimal change needed to incorporate it into our existing surroundings. So no more excuses to stop you from switching to an electric vehicle!