Hyundai Motor Group presents its newly developed automatic charging robot (ACR) for electric vehicles, which is expected to support humans in the near future.
The ACR is a one-arm robot, which communicates with the electric vehicle and is capable of automatically opening the charging port and correctly plugging the charger into the port using control technology applied by a 3D camera-based artificial intelligence algorithm.
As we can see in the video with an example Hyundai Ioniq 6 and the CCS Combo 1 (CCS1) plug, once the charging process is completed, the robot unplugs and the charging port is closed.
It's worth noting that the Hyundai Ioniq 6 parks autonomously in a designated charging bay.
"Once the vehicle is stationary, the ACR communicates with the vehicle to open the charging port, calculating the exact location and angle through a camera mounted inside.
The robot then picks up the charger and fastens it to the vehicle’s charging port, thus starting the charging session. Once charging is complete, the robot removes the charger, returns it to its rightful place, and closes the cover of the vehicle’s charging port."
It literally does everything from start to finish and, according to the South Korean manufacturer, the ACR operates reliably in all environments, regardless of charger location, weather (the device is a waterproof and dustproof grade of IP65), and potential obstacles.
Hyundai Motor Group predicts that such a system might support humans in the not-too-distant future, overcoming accessibility issues and inconveniences for some EV drivers, especially in dark environments.
In theory, it could be utilized in parking lots to charge multiple vehicles sequentially. Another application might be charging autonomous vehicles.
The prototype shown in the video follows up on a CGI version released by the Group in July 2022.
Soon - between March 31 to April 9 - the ACR will be displayed at the 2023 Seoul Mobility Show, at Hyundai Motor’s exhibition booth.
Let's note that the automatic charging robot from Hyundai Motor Group is not the first project of its kind, as we saw various concepts and prototypes before - including Tesla's snake, or Volkswagen's robot with battery energy storage or Aiways' mobile charging robot to name just a few.
Only the time will tell whether such solutions will enter commercialization phase. A lot will depend on the real demand and the cost of such robots, which due to the advanced technologies, might be quite significant today.