This Robot Concept Will Charge Your EV, and All You Have to Do Is Park

This Robot Concept Will Charge Your EV, and All You Have to Do Is Park

Continental may be a name that auto enthusiasts mainly associate with tires, but that could change in the very near future.

The German-based auto parts manufacturer is hard at work developing a robot that will make topping up your EV’s battery easier than ever before. Simply park your car on top of the machine, and it’ll take care of the rest for you, quickly and efficiently.

The robot, which doesn’t currently have a name, is the result of a partnership between Continental Engineering Services (CES) and Volterio. It’s not the first EV charging robot we’ve seen, but, as New Atlas points out, it’s easily the least goofy looking. That’s because the duo’s machine is simple and stripped down, consisting of just two major parts—a ground unit, which is installed on the floor of your garage, and a receiver that attaches to the bottom of your vehicle.

The EV charging robot’s ground unit and vehicle receiver 


While the ground unit looks just like a wireless charging mat for your smartphone, the two parts of the robot must form a hard-wired connection to work. To do this, you drive over the ground unit, the two parts detect each other using ultra-broadband and then automatically form a physical connection, according to a press release. Wireless charging may be all the rage these days, but the hard connection between the charging unit and receiver reduces electrical loss and increases efficiency. You won’t have to park precisely for system to work, either; the two parts just need to be within 11.8 inches of one another for the link to be made and charging to happen.
“Our charging robot is a real step in the evolution of making electric mobility more convenient and suitable for everyday use,” CES managing director Dr. Christoph Falk-Gierlinger said in a statement. “With Volterio, we have the ideal partner for developing an efficient and simple solution for charging electric vehicles.”
While Continental’s charging robot is still in the prototype stage, a near-production version is expected to make its debut later this year. We don’t know how powerful the system will be—a fast-charging version is said to be in the works for public spaces—but it will be compatible with your home electrical system.
Home EV charging looks like it’s about to get a lot more convenient.

Watch: BMW’s New SUV Concept Changes Color Right in Front of Your Eyes

Watch: BMW’s New SUV Concept Changes Color Right in Front of Your Eyes

It’s one thing to hear or read about a technological innovation. It’s another to actually see it in action.

Take, for example, the color-changing technology that BMW first teased last month in the lead up to CES 2022. It sounded intriguing at the time, but you’d be forgiven of skepticism. After all, how can a car change its own color? Well, color us impressed.

The German marque brought a battery-powered SUV to Las Vegas this year: the iX Flow. But this is no run of the mill CES EV concept. This new variant has a whole new kind of feature. Specifically, it can change its body color with the simple touch of a button. Don’t believe it? Well, watch this video that was posted by the Out of Spec Studio’s Twitter account:

This color changing @BMWUSA #iX is wild! It’s apparently very temperature sensitive so they have a backup in a trailer in case this one gets too hot / cold
— Out of Spec Studios (@Out_of_Spec) January 4, 2022

In the 12-second clip, you can see the SUV suddenly change from black to white. That alone would make for a solid demonstration of the aptly named E-Ink technology, but what happens next is even more striking. When another button is pressed, you see the color shift happen in slow motion, with a small black section traveling across the body of the vehicle from front to back, leaving white behind after it passes. That means E ink can display multiple colors at once.
The new technology isn’t a paint, it’s a specially designed body wrap. When an electrical charge is applied to it, electrophoretic microcapsules embedded within the wrap bring different pigments to the surface, allowing the vehicle to take on that color. It similar to how an e-reader like the Amazon Kindle works. It would seem that the only colors available right now are white and black, but if BMW can get the wrap to display more colors, it’s not hard to see this becoming a very desirable feature. Imagine being able to change the color of your car based on the occasion or just to reflect your mood?

BMW iX Flow featuring E Ink 


Although BMW has proven its color-changing technology works, don’t expect it to be available as an option anytime soon. It’s clear there are some things that still need to be ironed out. In addition to more color options, Out of Spec Studio’s tweet demonstrates that the technology is also temperature sensitive. We also have no idea how much it would cost, but we’d imagine it will change a car’s price substantially. Hey, the (color) bleeding edge is never cheap.

These 25 Tech Devices Are on Rare Sale for Amazon Prime Day

These 25 Tech Devices Are on Rare Sale for Amazon Prime Day

Amazon Prime Day 2021 kicked off this morning, marking the beginning of one of the biggest shopping events of the year. On Prime Day, which runs through June 21 and 22, you can access some of the best tech deals that you’ll find all year long with big discounts on everything, including fitness trackers, flatscreen TVs, computer monitors, robot vacuums, and more, without ever leaving home. Everything can be had at the click of a finger if you’re an Amazon Prime member, and if you’re not already enjoying the benefits of free two-day shipping (and much more), you can sign up here to join the fun.Because navigating all of the daily deals and short-lived lightning deals can be overwhelming, we’ve sifted through all the best tech sales on electronics, home appliances, and wearables from big-name brands like Bose, Sony, Garmin, iRobot, and more that are going on now, and compiled a short list of the things you should absolutely not hesitate on. Many of these savings will not last, so keep an eye on this page, where we’ll be updating it until Amazon Prime Day draws to a close tomorrow at 11:59 p.m. PT. And be sure to check out our kitchen, fitness, beauty deals, and more, too.All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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