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#1 julius

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 02:09 AM

Hi,

I'm currently brainstorming about how a roadside charging station for electric vehicles could work.
I'd like it to be fully automatic—that is, you drive into the parking lot and the car automatically connects to the station (which I imagine to be a small post of some sort, for example).
Some mechanism in the car would have to align itself so the connecting part fits right onto/into/around/onto the post, even if the driver sucks at parking.
Also, the station is outside and definitely subject to wear.

If you are creative, could you support me with some ideas? Do you know if something similar exists somewhere?
If you have experience with mechanisms for self-alignment, could you give me some pointers about where to research?

And if I'm completely wrong in this forum, forgive me—where could I start research into this?

Thanks a lot!

Julius

Edited by julius, 03 March 2010 - 02:12 AM.


#2 Supe

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 12:05 PM

There are a number of complex vision tracking systems out there used with robotics that could be used for alignment. The problem is, if there's no standard as to where the charging port is located, I don't see how there could be any repeatability.

#3 Capt Worley PE

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 12:49 PM

Look at an AFX car for guidance.

#4 roadwreck

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 12:55 PM

Aren't there cars these days that will parallel park themselves?



#5 Capt Worley PE

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 01:49 PM

Yeah, the MKS and MKT with Eco-Boost engines will.

#6 julius

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 05:23 PM

AFX cars ... I'd thought of something similar, definitely a promising idea though (I'd like to keep it fairly simple -- not too many moving parts). Snow, ice and dirt are the biggest concern of course with any installation on the ground. I'll look into that. Thanks guys!

#7 humner

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Posted 04 March 2010 - 12:17 PM

The idea is out there already, they have it for the Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner. Remember that with patents you need to be careful. NASA was all set to have cabinet knobs to be made out of an edible nutrucious material. The patent office rejected it due to one was already invented. The ice cream cone.




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