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Volkswagen wants robots to help you charge your electric car

Roadshow logo Roadshow 7/7/2017 Andrew Krok
Andrew Trahan Photography LLC© Andrew Trahan Photography LLC Andrew Trahan Photography LLC

Do you like robots? Do you like electric and self-driving vehicles? Would you like to see all three sandwiched together? Well, it doesn't matter what you think, because Volkswagen's doing it anyway.


Volkswagen announced Friday that it was expanding a partnership with Kuka, an automation specialist, to explore roles for service robots alongside autonomous and electric cars.

"In [the] future, robots will support humans in many routine tasks," said Till Reuter, CEO of Kuka, in a statement. "And everyday life in [the] future will be inconceivable without autonomous driving. We will work together on innovative concepts in order to shape this future."

The two have already begun collaborating on a project called E-Smart Connect. It's basically a robot that plugs an electric car into a charger. All the driver needs to do is park in a designated space, and the robot will take care of the rest. It's not necessarily saving humans from thousands of man-hours of annual toil, but hey, it's a start.

Kuka and Volkswagen are also exploring ways to introduce additional service elements into self-driving cars. There are no specifics on these projects yet, but the idea of a robot butler (whether discrete or built into the car's systems) sounds pretty neat. It's just like "The Jetsons," except without the flying cars -- yet.

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