Engineers at Hyundai Motor Group in South Korea created a fully automatic charging robot known as ACR for short. The ACR, according to the company, can work in any environment and in any weather, making electric car charging easier and safer for drivers.
It took nearly a year for a team of engineers to progress from a computer-generated prototype to a working unit, which has now been tested and evaluated at a purpose-built EV charging station. Hyundai has released a short video of the ACR in action:
As seen in the video, the driver only needs to activate the autonomous parking feature. The ACR takes over once the car is in the designated parking spot. It communicates with the car, in this case the Hyundai Ioniq 6, and opens its charging port before inserting the charging cable into the charging port.
The ACR appears to be monitoring the environment and warns anyone passing by not to approach the vehicle or the charging cable too closely. When the charging is finished, the robot unplugs the cable and the car notifies the driver via their smartphone that the battery has been charged.
Hyundai will showcase the ACR at the 2023 Seoul Mobility Show, which begins next week. This isn’t the first automated charging solution; Tesla tested a snake-like robotic arm in 2015, the idea was never developed beyond the prototype stage but Elon Musk stated in 2020 that the robot was still in the works.
Charging robots can make life easier for disabled drivers or in multi-car garages or parking lots with only one charger. Drivers could park their vehicles and go about their business while the ACR charged all of the cars one by one.