ROCIN-ECO opts for robotic charging solutions
A consortium consisting of industry-leading brands IONITY, Audi, TÜV SÜD and the affiliated partners Porsche, BMW, Ford, Marquardt, ROCSYS, AVL, and HUBER+SUHNER forms the ROCIN-ECO research project.
Our collective aim is to develop and demonstrate an interoperable, standardized, and automated charging solution using robotic technology. In July 2023, we reached an important milestone we would like to share with charging enthusiasts and the industry.
Whether autonomously driving cars, automated valet parking, or last mile delivery vehicles – automated driving will also need intelligent, robotic charging solutions.
In the meantime, we also see the benefits of robotic charging, for example in downtown garages characterized by limited space. Or for charging alternatives like highly-frequented charging hubs, where automated valet charging would allow customers to do other things while their cars queue up and wait for their batteries to get recharged.
Rocin-Eco started to work on this development project at the end of 2021 and in April 2022 we achieved the first successful autonomous charging session with the robot and chosen EVs.
What we are now focusing on is the communication between the robot and the electric vehicle based on Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) which is a reliable and proven technology for communication in close proximity, and Ultra-WideBand (UWB) technology, which is enabling the localization of the vehicle around the robot.
The latest demonstration showed a single Audi eTron EV operated by Rocsys' ROC-1 robot and incorporating Marquardt's BLE/UWB modules for communication and localization. Notably, the charging process will be operated through Plug and Charge in the future, with minimal or no human intervention. This underscores our dedication to delivering user-friendly and automated solutions that enhance the EV charging experience.
Another aspect currently under evaluation is parking accuracy. The communication primarily involves pairing, identifying the appropriate "mating zone," conducting compatibility checks, and facilitating EV-robot communication during the docking and undocking procedures. This would represent a significant advancement to support automated valet parking systems (AVPS) and/or fully autonomous electric vehicles (EVs). We also evaluated parking scenarios and requirements for the site layout.
Source: IONITY (2023)
About the ROCIN-ECO research project
Shaping the future of EV charging – the ROCIN-ECO research project reached an important milestone! A consortium consisting of industry-leading brands IONITY, Audi, TÜV SÜD and the affiliated partners Porsche, BMW, Ford, Marquardt, ROCSYS, AVL, and HUBER+SUHNER we forms the ROCIN-ECO research project. Our collective aim is to develop and demonstrate an interoperable, standardized, and automated charging solution using robotic technology.
The "ROCIN-ECO" project is being funded within the framework of the BMDV's electromobility funding guidelines by the Federal Ministry of Digital Affairs and Transport. This funded project is coordinated by NOW GmbH and implemented by Projektträger Jülich (PtJ).