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Volkswagen wants robots to help you charge your electric car

One step closer to having the robot butler of my dreams!


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.

"Me? Plug in my own electric car? Eff that."


"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.