With the spread of electric cars, new ideas are emerging to make charging easier, especially useful for people with disabilities.
For most of us, removing the charging gun from the dispenser and attaching it to the filler neck for refueling is not difficult. However, these procedures can be quite difficult for people with disabilities, and Ford appeals to them with this robotic charging station.
A mechanical arm ‘looks for’ the socket in the vehicle and inserts the connector for charging, then pulls it out when done. The operation will be controlled via their smartphone and the driver will be able to control all these operations only via his smartphone, without ever getting out of the vehicle.
According to a recent UK survey, 61% of disabled drivers would consider purchasing an electric vehicle if charging was easier. Ford researchers, who set out for this purpose, started field trials in real situations after the first laboratory tests.
The actuation scheme allows the station to activate the robotic arm once activated. Thanks to a small camera, it finds the charging connector and plugs it into the vehicle socket. The driver sees all information about the vehicle’s charge status from his smartphone. After the vehicle is charged, the robotic arm retracts and returns to its original position.