Robot-Based Fast Charging of Electric Vehicles
To be published on April 2, 2019 by SAE International in United States
Automated, conductive charging systems enable both the transmission of high charging power for long electric driving distances as well as comfortable and safe charging processes. Particularly in connection with autonomously driving and parking vehicles, new fields of application and opportunities are emerging. This paper deals with the definition of requirements for automated conductive charging stations and highlights the development and conception of a robot-based prototype for automated charging of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. In cooperation with the project partners BMW AG, Magna Steyr Engineering, KEBA AG and the Institute of Automotive Engineering of Graz University of Technology, the development and implementation of the prototype took place in the course of a governmental funded the research project titled “KoMoT”. In the presented approach, the entire docking and undocking process of the charging cable is performed completely autonomously by a robotic arm. An essential aim of the research activities was to design the sensor technology and the robot system control in such a way, that even when using different vehicle types and vehicle positions no adaptations to the vehicle itself are necessary. The novelty of the work is defined by the applied flexible development method. The task placed high demands on the procedure for the development of a complex mechatronic system consisting sensor technology, robot kinematics and robot control in order to enable the automated electrical charging of different vehicles and that in variable parking positions. Short charging times and convenient charging processes are essential for the successful introduction of e-mobility. In this way, the requirements for automated charging systems are shown, the development process for an autonomous conductive charging system is introduced and the prototype is presented. Furthermore, the results of the prototype tests are presented and discussed on the basis of short video sequences.