Tesla Motors is developing an automated metal ‘snake’ that would emerge from the wall and connect itself to the battery port on Tesla cars. Such an advancement would essentially create a hands-free car charging system for owners of the sleek electric vehicles.
CEO and chief product architect Elon Musk tweeted the announcement, promising a “solid metal snake” that automatically moves from the wall and connects to the car. He followed up with a second tweet to elaborate that the technology would be backwards compatible to work with existing models as well as those released in the future. It’s uncertain whether this automatic robot snake charger would be available only for supercharging stations or at home as well.
If it’s available for residential installation, the robotic charging snake would be a great benefit for Tesla owners. It eliminates the need to remember to plug your car’s battery in for charging, so electric car owners would never wake up to a dead battery. In the long line of technological advancements in motoring, this is just one more step toward a world where cars do everything for themselves.
Engineers have had their sights on robotic snakes for some time. OC Robotics has already developed a prototype robotic snake arm (pictured above). Carnegie Mellon University’s Biorobotics Lab has been working on a modular robotic snake as well. Neither of those teams has electric vehicle charging specifically on their agendas, and there is no indication at this time whether Tesla’s hands-free charging snake will rely on any of these previously developed technologies.