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"Robotic Autoplug" (?)

Discussion in 'Charging Standards and Infrastructure' started by mbender, Aug 6, 2014.

  1. mbender

    mbender Member

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    Hello, I'm not an owner and not a regular visitor here, but I'm curious if there has been any discussion about some sort of automated plug-in mechanism that could be added to (or included with) home chargers.

    I know that:

    • "Wireless charging" has an appeal to a certain segment of owners and the population
    • People can be lazy (regardless of how easy a task), but also
    • That they/we can be forgetful (regardless of the importance of a task)
    • Tesla is interested in eliminating every conceivable objection to EVs, regardless of how minor.
    Therefore, I think that such a system would have its appeal and practical uses. And given Tesla's robotics and technical expertise, it seems like it would be a piece of cake to design, implement and offer (if only as an option). A sensor would just notice when the vehicle arrives in or near* its standard parking space, and then the plug would "come alive", finding and moving close to the charge port. The latch would then open, and the plug would insert itself... without you doing a thing. (i.e., you could just park and go inside).

    Impossible? Impractical? Not enough demand? I'm missing something? Love to hear some feedback!

    * Another advantage to any wireless charging system is that accuracy of parking would not be required.
     
  2. markb1

    markb1 Active Member

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    It would be kind of cool, but:

    Plugging in when I get home is habit, so I never forget.

    It's already more convenient to plug in every night when I get home than it is to go to a gas station on a regular basis.
     
  3. mbender

    mbender Member

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    Never? Plus, you're not the only one out there; others, including myself have forgotten (i.e., this isn't personal). I just think that it might be a nice feature to offer, as eventually hundreds of thousands and millions of vehicles are sold. Some buyers might like the idea, especially if done right (by Tesla), for the right price.

    Yes, it's also already more convenient than having a tooth pulled, but that's besides the point. Again, this isn't (just) about you, and no one is comparing it to gassers. The comparison is between having to plug in and not having to plug in -- some people may not like to have to even think about plugging in (much or at all. I'd surely be happy not to have to ever "think about" charging my phone). Or have we reached the end of the convenience-as-a-feature "road"?
     
  4. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    #4 dsm363, Aug 6, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2014
    Would you need a device that automatically plugs in your mobile phone when you get home? It might be cool to have this for the Model S but would likely be expensive and really isn't needed. I almost never forget to plug in (once a year maybe) so some $1000+ device to help with they isn't worth it to me. Wireless charging if anything would be more useful especially for street parking.
     
  5. Ames

    Ames Member

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    Is this what you had in mind? If it was available I would get it just for the cool factor...and quite reasonably my neighbors would hate me even more than they already did on account of having a Tesla... :love:

    rinspeed-xchange-concept--2014-geneva-motor-show-live-photos_100458903_m.jpg
     
  6. mbender

    mbender Member

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    If it does what it looks like, yes! (But also, provided that the vehicle does not need to be precision-parked, which appears to be the case.)

    I have a hunch that a lot of Tesla owners are into the cool factor :wink:, so it might be a popular option!
     
  7. Ames

    Ames Member

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    Exactly...from what I can see the arm swivels on 3 points, so the car should not need precision parking...
     
  8. WarpedOne

    WarpedOne Supreme Premier

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    Where is this picture from?
    Factory?
     
  9. WarpedOne

    WarpedOne Supreme Premier

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    I "reversefind" it - it's a Rinspeed Tesla Model S presented at Geneva Motorshow as autonomus driving car.
    They've equiped it with a "robotic plugger".

    rinspeed-xchange-concept--2014-geneva-motor-show-live-photos_100458908_l.jpg
    geneva-rinspeed-xchange-6_653.jpg
     
  10. scaesare

    scaesare Active Member

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    In the meantime while you are waiting for R2-D2 to arrive and plug in your Model S, grab VisibleTesla and set it up to email before you go to bed if your car isn't plugged in... at least you'll have addressed the forgetfulness part....
     
  11. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    And if you have the typical commute of 10-30ish miles a day you can forget to plug in a few days in a row and still be ok.
     
  12. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    #12 ItsNotAboutTheMoney, Aug 7, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2014
    For home use, I'd suggest wireless charging rather than robotic plugging, unless you're the gotta-have-home-HPWC-and-dual-chargers type.

    Robotic plugging will be useful in the future at Superchargers. Drive up to the back of the line. Get out. Let car park itself.

    Actually, scratch that: drive up to entrance to mall/restaurant/hotel. Get out. Let car park itself.
     
  13. Ames

    Ames Member

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    Right...forgetfulness taken care of. I wonder how long it would take the forgetful types to forget that there is a robotic charging arm stealthily hidden in a dark corner of their garage, positioned about crotch high bristling with 80 amps of AC current, and waiting for the right moment to interface with a suitable charging receptacle?
     
  14. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    Several years ago, the MIT AI people were experimenting with small, autonomous robots. One the features that they put in the robot was an algorithm to search for wall outlets to recharge. As the robot's charge got lower, it gave higher priority to charging over other tasks.
     
  15. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    Before: I don't need this.
    Now: I need it. Whatever it is.

    ;)

    - - - Updated - - -

    So many inappropriate replies. :)
     
  16. mbender

    mbender Member

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    Just gotta say that after Thursday's presentation, I feel more than a bit "vindicated". In my mind, it was inevitable. ;-)
     
  17. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    Particularly if you are going to use the AutoPark feature on a regular basis, you'll need AutoPlug.
     
  18. Vger

    Vger Active Member

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    Yes, Elon seems quite committed to the idea. You cannot have auto-park or auto-pick-up without it. It was pretty funny that he said, "my engineers are hearing about this [feature requirement] in real-time." It must be both exhilarating and exhausting to work for him!
     
  19. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Project Better Place had proposed doing this too.

    Driven: Shai Agassi's Audacious Plan to Put Electric Cars on the Road




     
  20. Vger

    Vger Active Member

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    Fascinating. It is too bad that Shai lost the script and fell by the wayside. He is a smart guy and was a pioneer in challenging the automotive status quo. I loved his TED talk a few years ago.
     

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