Volkswagen released footage of a prototype of its Mobile Charging Robot today, and it remains the most adorable solution to a lack of electric vehicle charger spots we’ve ever seen.
The premise is simple: Instead of having to tether up to a stationary charger, you can signal to the Mobile Charging Robot that your car needs a charge, at which point, it will drag a charging battery over to you, reach out to your car’s charging port with a folding arm and recharge your car’s battery. Once the robot is finished with your car, it can either continue on to other cars that need charging or return to its docking station with its mobile battery.
Best of all, it barely changed from its earlier concept design, meaning that its friendly blinking eyes and droid sounds straight out of Star Wars are here to stay. It’s programmed to stop for other cars or pedestrians along the way, so I’d imagine the cute-factor helps. Personally speaking, I’d prefer bots that are more like BB-8, and less like the Terminator—and I’m probably not alone on that.
According to The Verge, Volkswagen plans to keep developing this Mobile Charging Robot as in theory, it’s a good idea. However, it does require that cars connect to an app or some kind of network with the Mobile Charging Robots on it—possibly V2X, or “vehicle to everything”—but automakers haven’t even been able to decide on a standard for V2X tech. An app is more likely, given that many public charging stations already work through app-based interfaces.