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Video: Hyundai Develops Autonomous Robot for Recharging EVs

A Hyundai Ioniq 6 withe the recharging robot | Photo: Hyundai
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Daniel Rufiange
Other companies, including Tesla, have already worked on this kind of technology.

•    Hyundai shows the robot it has developed for charging an electric car.

•    Such technology could help motorists with limited mobility.

•    It’s not yet known if Hyundai plans to produce the robot commercially.

Hyundai announced last year that it was developing a robot capable of charging an electric vehicle autonomously. This week, the company shared a video showing the robot in action. 

As it happens, the test vehicle shown in the video is the brand-new Ioniq 6 sedan, recently unveiled and being test-driven by Auto123 this week in the Vancouver area. Stay tuned for that review.

The video released this week, in the meantime, was filmed at the company's main research and development center in South Korea.

Hyundai's charging robot at work
Hyundai's charging robot at work | Photo: Hyundai

The images speak for themselves. You can see the car autonomously park itself at a station with the smart parking assist feature, already offered on other Hyundai vehicles. Once in place, the hatch hiding the charging port opens automatically and the robot goes into action. The company makes use of an artificial intelligence algorithm based on a 3D camera to control the connection. Once the charge is complete, the robot disconnects from the car and sends a notification to the driver's phone.

The vision for such a system is that in the future, with the autonomous functions of vehicles, it will be possible to send them to be plugged in without direct human involvement. This type of technology will certainly be used to recharge fully autonomous vehicles in urban areas. People with reduced mobility will also benefit from this type of technology. 

It requires a bit of imagination to understand how widespread the use of such a function could be, and  how it could serve different needs. On a very cold day or a rainy day, for example, Canadian motorists might appreciate not having to get out of their vehicle to recharge it. 

Hyundai's autonomous robot for recharging EVs
Hyundai's autonomous robot for recharging EVs | Photo: Hyundai

According to Hyundai, the robot has been tested in a variety of weather conditions to confirm it can be reliable in all circumstances. When you think of a robotic instrument and our Canadian climate, that’S a central consideration. 

Hyundai has not confirmed any production plans for the robot. The firm is not the first to introduce a concept of its kind. Tesla had done the same in 2015. Ram also showed something like it at the unveiling of its pickup truck concept earlier this year at the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas. 

In Korea, tasks performed by robots are more prevalent than here. At the Seoul airport, for example, you can order a meal at one of the restaurants and a robot has the job of picking it up and bringing it to you. 

Charging robots will come; the only question is where and when, and in what contexts they will be used.

Hyundai's robot - Charging gun
Hyundai's robot - Charging gun | Photo: Hyundai
Daniel Rufiange
Daniel Rufiange
Automotive expert
  • Over 17 years' experience as an automotive journalist
  • More than 75 test drives in the past year
  • Participation in over 250 new vehicle launches in the presence of the brand's technical specialists