Hyundai Motor Group has developed an automatic charging robot (ACR) designed for EVs and shared the first details of its key features. The ACR for EVs is a one-arm robot capable of plugging a cable into an EV’s charging port and removing it once the charging session is complete.

A video demonstration of the robot showed a Hyundai IONIQ 6 parking autonomously in an EV charging bay. Once the vehicle became stationary, the ACR communicated with it in order to open the charging port – while simultaneously calculating the exact location and angle to plug the cable in through a camera mounted inside. The robot then picked up the charger and fastened it to the vehicle’s charging port, starting the charging session. Once the session was complete, the robot removed the charger and returned it to its rightful place, before closing the cover of the EV’s charging port.

In order for the robot to securely fasten a charger to the charging port, Hyundai developed software that can simultaneously calculate multiple variables involved in the process – such as the parking location of the vehicle, the shape of the charging port, weather, potential obstacles, and weight of the charging cable. Accounting for these variables, an algorithm can apply 3D camera-based AI technology to robots, and new control technologies based on this application will allow robots to accurately handle heavy chargers.

Additional features of the ACR include its waterproof and dustproof grade of IP65, ability to be stably operated in extreme environments, and a safety pole with a built-in laser sensor to prevent accidents by detecting, and differentiating between, stationary and moving objects. Hyundai expects that its ACR will provide several enhancements while adding convenience to the EV charging experience. The company also highlighted its potential when paired with future autonomous parking control systems, improving its utilization by sequentially charging several parked vehicles.