Robotic Power Hydrant Charging Station Makes Us Laugh – Videos

3 years ago by Eric Loveday 15

Power Hydrant

Power Hydrant

We doubt we need to explain why this robotic PowerHydrant just won’t work in the real world.  We’re certain that after watching these two videos you’ll see the issues here.

PowerHydrant, which is in the prototype (searching for funds) phase, is explained as follows:

The convergence of wireless technology, mobile chipsets, low-cost imaging and powerful open-source software environments enabled the smartphone revolution. These same commoditized technologies are now enabling a revolution in human-service robot implementation.

Hands-free charging: PowerHydrant® will provide an improved automated robotic solution to EV owners for a true “park-and-forget” experience at home, at work, and everywhere. A hardware module utilizing low cost vision guided robotics, J1772 compliant plug and communication interfaces will provide the automated connection whenever the vehicle is parked in a PowerHydrant® enabled spot.

  • PowerHydrant® has important advantages over other hands-free charging technologies:
  • Conductive robotic charging is unencumbered by power-transfer constraints and can charge at rates from less than 3kW to over 150kW (fast-charge) @ 99% efficiencies.
  • There are no vehicle-alignment, foreign-object, or EMC/EMI constraints.
  • A single charger can be autonomously time-shared (by 2 to 8 vehicles) for cost and congestion management. Optimal sharing ensured by Max-min fairness.
  • Simpler to Install or retrofit.
  • High efficiency means less heat, higher reliability, better safety, and better user acceptance.
  • V2X support assured.

For more on PowerHydrant, visit the website here.

Now, if only automakers would locate the charge port in a standard spot on all plug-in vehicles.  Only a few have it right: front fender (Preferably driver’s side in U.S. and curbside in Europe).

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15 responses to "Robotic Power Hydrant Charging Station Makes Us Laugh – Videos"

  1. kdawg says:

    Might be easier/cheaper to install one of these. Could swap cables & move cars when necessary as well.

    1. Anon says:

      Now I see your agenda…

      You want to replace all those robots with humans, you filthy socialist. 😉

      1. kdawg says:

        I program robots for a living, and I know when an application is not really practical. There’s just some things humans are a lot better at.

        1. Spec9 says:

          Yeah, the 7 seconds it take to plug in just has never seemed like that much of a hassle.

          But I do think that the cars should be smart enough to send you an email/text if you have forgotten to plug it in for the night though.

  2. Gibber says:

    LOL and it’s not even April first, you guys crack me up!

  3. Josh says:

    They totally had me convinced…until they didn’t use an EV in their demo.

  4. Dan says:

    I like how it hits the car at 0:32 of the second video. Painfully slow too.

    1. Foo says:

      It does? There’s just a close-up shot of the robot arm at 0:32.

  5. Kakkerlak says:

    Wouldn’t want somebody to chip a nail picking up a charge cord, would we ?

    Robots are great at performing repetitive, dangerous, complex precision tasks. Plugging in a charge cord is none of those.

    As an EV early adopter I don’t like to point and laugh at anyone’s impractical ideas, since driving to work in glorified golf cart was a loony idea just a few years ago.

    If this designer wants to contribute to EV charging infrastructure, they can invent a powered rod that shoots out and shatters the kneecaps of anyone who vandalizes a BLINK charger.

  6. Foo says:

    I’m glad she got her nails done for the video.

  7. Jouni Valkonen says:

    At least this would make more sense than inductive charging!

    Baxter robot would be a nice toy in über-rich garage that could elegantly put the plug in when driving into garage. Baxter is even relatively cheap for a robot as it costs less than your plug-in car.

  8. Murrysville EV says:

    I don’t want some nameless robot penetrating my Leaf!

  9. Priusmaniac says:

    What’s wrong with that system? It looks quiet, well, sexy to me. At least it does the job with 100 % efficiency automatically.
    But I still think two electronically secured contacts on top of a bump on the ground under a parking car, would be better and way cheaper.

  10. Hello Eric

    Thanks for the coverage and exposure in Insideevs.

    Just a couple of notes:
    We are a small early-stage start-up looking to apply new technology to real and emerging problems in EV charging and EV charging infrastructure.
    We are certainly aware of EV charger inlet placement issues. These can (and should) be overcome.
    As we have seen with Tesla, this young industry (in this latest incarnation) needs the best solutions to move forward, not blind adherence to current practice or “committee-defined” standards. For example, Tesla has their own elegant connector that will support L1 L2 and 100kW class DC. As a result, Tesla has the best DC fast charge story in the industry. Can you imagine a Tesla Model S with a CHADEMO or DC Combo inlet?
    PowerHydrant is inspired by Tesla and looking forward to changing how things are done to solve real problems in the following areas
    Multi-unit dwellings
    Workplace charging
    Public Infrastructure
    EV Taxi, Electric Bus, Pickup and delivery Fleets
    > 100kW Fast charge
    V2G storage support
    Ease and convenience for the non-enthusiast

    Please call us sometime, we would love to talk

  11. Kakkerlak says:

    Of course the day after I give the guy a hard time about solving a problem nobody has, Elon Musk talks about how cool it would be if there was a robot that would plug in your car for you once it parked itself in your garage.