LG and Doosan present charging robot

Doosan Robotics and LG Electronics have jointly developed an automated charger for electric vehicles that is operated by a robot. It has been in pilot operation at LG's research and development complex in Seoul for a few days now.

Image: Doosan Robotics

The automatic charging system consists of a kiosk, which is responsible for vehicle recognition and payment processing, and the automatic main charger. When an electric vehicle enters the designated charging area, it is recognized by a separately installed camera that transmits vehicle-related information to the charging system.

After the driver is authenticated, an artificial intelligence-based 3D camera attached to the robot determines the position of the charging port for the vehicle. The robot then connects the charging cable to the charging port and begins the charging process. Once charging is complete, the robot retracts the cable and returns it to its original position while making the automatic payment.

To ensure safety and accuracy during automatic charging, high-performance torque sensors are attached to the robot’s six joints. After the pilot operation, Doosan Robotics and LG Electronics are also considering the joint development of other types of automatic charging solutions. “This automatic charging solution is technologically demanding, requiring sensitivity, precision and safety,” said Ryu Jung-hoon, CEO of Doosan Robotics. “We will keep pace with the rapidly growing electric vehicle charging market.”

Doosan and LG Electronics are not the only companies working on charging robots. Rocsys, a company specializing in robotic charging solutions, also introduced two new partners this week. Robotic charging solutions are likely to be particularly exciting for autonomous vehicles, especially in the commercial vehicle sector.

The development by LG and Doosan differs from the Rocsys solution in one interesting detail: Whereas with Rocsys, the charging cable is permanently integrated into the robot arm and therefore has to remain on the vehicle during the charging process, LG and Doosan have opted for a different approach: a gripper encloses the handle of the charging cable in a similar way to a human hand and can therefore release the cable during the charging process – and theoretically connect other vehicles with additional charging cables during this time.



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