Robotics may take on a much more active role among humans from now on. As we have seen, a large number of machines are being designed to replace people's actions. They are robots to serve in hospitals, autonomous vehicles to make home deliveries and even drones to reach the most isolated people. Another example of these automatisms is the Tesla robotic charger. One that has a snake-like aspect and that automatically connects to the brand's trams.
Yes, it is true that no one imagined that we would find ourselves in a situation like this. Even Tesla would have no clue of the new coronavirus pandemic while designing this robotic charger almost five years ago.
Tesla's robotic charging snake
In 2015, Tesla uploaded a video of a prototype automatic charger to its YouTube channel. As it was possible to dissect, the images showed how a user could charge his electric car without even leaving the vehicle. However, the world has never heard of an update to that prototype again.
Despite being just a study, and at that time just something “adventurous” with futuristic hints of Musk's head, the truth is that this type of robotic charger makes a lot of sense, if it is produced now.
COVID-19 invites innovation to get off the ground
COVID-19 spreads through physical contact on anything that has been exposed to it. It is obvious that these Tesla automatic chargers have failed to solve the underlying problem. However, these chargers can eliminate the need for physical contact, a source of contagion when carrying SARS-CoV-2.
At the moment, the US has the highest number of COVID-19 cases. In addition, Tesla has the strongest network of superchargers in the U.S., and these robotic chargers can work great. Thus, with the USA being Tesla's homeland, this could be the best opportunity for Elon Musk to test the viability of such projects.
If Tesla has not yet taken the prototype to a mainstream project, then there are reasons behind it. Due to several factors, the chargers could not be installed at supercharger stations anytime soon. One of the main problems, as explained in several channels dedicated to the brand, is the total cost, which includes the manufacture, installation and maintenance of these chargers. A single unit would cost much more than the traditional chargers being used today.
On the other hand, the vandalization of shippers at stations is not uncommon. Some people, even unintentionally, break the charging caps and harm the chargers. Of course, Musk wouldn't want people to walk away with the expensive robotic charger still attached to his Tesla.
So, this is probably one of the reasons why Tesla did not bring the project into the real world. In addition to these obstacles, if we shed light on the Tesla Robotaxis project, then this type of charger can be part of that project.
However, Tesla has not given any official confirmation on the production of these robotic chargers. So, all we can do is wait until any updates arrive.