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Volkswagen Group Research and KUKA partner to develop robot-supported services for autonomous and electric vehicles

Volkswagen Group Research and leading robotics company KUKA will intensify their strategic partnership with the joint development of area ofrobot-based innovation concepts for vehicles of the future.

One of the aims of the research collaboration is to develop robot-based innovations for all-electric and autonomous automobiles. The new cooperation links up with an existing joint research project looking into collaboration between human and robot. The e-smart Connect project—highlighted during a recent Media Day event—includes a practical and user-friendly solution for charging high-voltage batteries of electric vehicles produced by the Volkswagen Group.

This involves a KUKA robot independently connecting up the vehicle with a charging station in a specially developed application. The driver simply has to position the electrically powered automobile in a designated parking space. The robot takes care of connecting up the charging cable for the driver.

M3_Mobile-Charging-Robots_01
Volkswagen Group Research and KUKA are already partnering on mobile charging robots for electric vehicles. Click to enlarge.

Aside from the technological fundamentals, plans are being laid for the development of other concepts for innovative applications in the new strategic partnership.

We are working intensively on structuring the mobility of tomorrow. This is not simply about innovative vehicle concepts but encompasses completely new requirements in the service sector.

—Matthias Müller, CEO of Volkswagen AG

In future, robots will support humans in many routine tasks. And everyday life in future will be inconceivable without autonomous driving. We will work together on innovative concepts in order to shape this future.

—Till Reuter, CEO of KUKA AG

The Volkswagen Group is planning a strategic e-mobility offensive in the course of realigning its drive strategy. By the end of 2018, more than ten new electrified models will be launched on the market. A further 30 models will follow by 2025. These will be all-electric battery-powered vehicles.

In parallel, Porsche will manage the ongoing expansion of infrastructure for quick-charging stations. The Volkswagen Group is providing a vision for autonomous driving of the future with the “Sedric” concept car. Audi recently established Autonomous Intelligent Driving GmbH for self-drive systems. This company is carrying out work for the entire Volkswagen Group.

KUKA AG is one of the biggest providers of intelligent automation solutions and is the world’s leading manufacturer of production plants in the automobile industry. The Group’s own Research Department headquartered in Augsburg lays the technological fundamentals for innovations in industrial production and service robotics.

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