Hyundai/Kia is developing a robot for hands-free electric car charging

If the adapter is a bad charging system, this kind of invention may change your mind about owning an electric car.

Many ideas exist to eliminate the problem of putting an EV into a heavy charging cable. From pads to robotic arms, people have been working on this technology for some time now.

Hyundai Motor Group is the latest to explore human-less electric vehicle charging technology and will showcase a new automatic charging robot at the Seoul Mobility Show starting next week.

With built-in lasers, cameras, AI wheels and moving arms, the ACR can, with the right EV, make charging your Ioniq 6 as easy as pressing buttons on keychains.

Although it is easy to charge an electric car in a popular place like home or work, it can always be easier. WiTricity has been working on wireless electric car charging for ten years. In 2015, Tesla showed a video of a “snake” that could automatically insert a charging cable into an electric car.

Ram is working on a charging robot for his next electric truck. This month in Seoul, Hyundai and Kia will show the latest in automatic charging technology, called ACR.

The automatic delivery robot is similar to Tesla’s machine snake, but it’s still higher. The Snake has a built-in Tesla connector, while Hyundai Motor Group’s ACR instead has a handle that can hold different plugs.

Of course, most of the time it will use a J1772 or CCS connector, but it’s nice to see some kind of compatibility up front. In fact, HMG designed the ACR to work in any environment, “regardless of charging conditions, weather and possible obstacles,” the company said.

It is a waterproof and dustproof machine (IP65 rated) that uses a fixed storage area with a laser sensor built into the ground nearby to warn the robot when it is in danger of colliding with fixed obstacles. or mobile.

This is the “not pretty” version of how ACR should work. You park your car where it will charge – or nearby, if the EV can park – and tell the system to start charging via the key fob. The vehicle the ACR is trying to turn on must have a port door that can be opened without human interaction, and the ACR communicates with the vehicle to open it.

ACR wheeled up to the car and used AI-based 3D cameras to locate the charging port and extend the cable to the port. When the electric car is loaded, the robot arm will go away.

Hyundai released a video of the ACR in action, and now it’s a real thing. In July 2022, the automaker released a computer-generated video showing the robot’s capabilities.

HMG robotics lab supervisor Dong Jin Hyun said the ACR could be especially useful for “people with limited mobility, as the charging cable becomes larger and heavier to allow for faster charging.”

For now, the ACR is just a toy on display at the Seoul Mobility Show 2023. But HMG says it predicts that robots will provide support for electric car chargers in the near future. accessible and useful.