Watch: Tesla owner develops a DIY robot charger that connects on its own

The automatic Tesla charger uses a computer as its brain, a camera mounted on it and some machine learning to perform its task.However, the automatic charger is entirely dependent on internet to function and is also quite slow in its process.
By : HT Auto Desk
| Updated on: 06 Jul 2021, 14:42 PM
DIY Tesla automatic charger. (Image credit: Screengrab of a video posted on YouTube by Pat Larson)
DIY Tesla automatic charger. (Image credit: Screengrab of a video posted on YouTube by Pat Larson)
DIY Tesla automatic charger. (Image credit: Screengrab of a video posted on YouTube by Pat Larson)
DIY Tesla automatic charger. (Image credit: Screengrab of a video posted on YouTube by Pat Larson)

A Tesla EV owner and YouTuber Pat Larson has developed an automatic robot charger for juicing up his electric vehicle. The Do-it-yourself (DIY) type charger can position its long arm on its own to connect to the charging port of the Tesla EV. Larson has posted a video on his YouTube channel explaining the how the robot charger works.

The robot charger uses an arm-like apparatus with mounted camera, a Raspberry Pi computer and a bit of machine learning to perform its task. The computer is "the brains of everything", Larson says in the video. The robot charging system moves back and forth using linear bearings, positioning itself roughly near the charging port. A joint on its arm apparatus pivots it away from the wall and toward the parked Tesla.

Similar Cars

Find More Cars
Tata Tigor Ev (HT Auto photo)
Tata Tigor Ev
Electric | Automatic
₹11.99 - 13.14 Lakhs**Ex-showroom price
Tata Altroz Ev (HT Auto photo)
UPCOMING
Tata Altroz Ev
 
₹12 - 15 Lakhs* *Expected Price
Tata Nexon Ev (HT Auto photo)
Tata Nexon Ev
Electric | Automatic
₹13.99 - 16.85 Lakhs**Ex-showroom price
Tata Nexon Ev Max (HT Auto photo)
Tata Nexon Ev Max
Electric | Automatic
₹17.74 - 19.24 Lakhs**Ex-showroom price
Mg Zs Ev (HT Auto photo)
Mg Zs Ev
Electric | Automatic
₹21 - 24.68 Lakhs**Ex-showroom price
Mg Zs Ev 2022 (HT Auto photo)
Mg Zs Ev 2022
Electric | Automatic
₹21.99 - 25.88 Lakhs**Ex-showroom price

(Also read | Tesla sets yet another record, delivers 201,250 electric vehicles in Q2)

Larson further explains that an automated servo motor "rotates the charging handle out when it's needed" and an ultrasonic distance sensor gives feedback to the computer to ensure that the charging arm doesn't strike the car.

FOLLOW US:Stay Updated with latest content - Subscribe us on
FOLLOW US:Stay Updated with latest content - Subscribe us on

The Raspberry Pi computer has been fed with machine learning framework called TensorFlow. This framework helps the robot charger understand where to move with the help of photographic evidence. In case the garage is not lit enough, there's a solution for that too. A small light illuminate the right spot to help the robot arm's positioning.

(Also read | Elon Musk confirms that Tesla Cybertruck will get a rear-wheel steering)

Apart from monitoring the robot arm, Larson uses Tesla API software to open the charging port of his Tesla vehicle. The TensorFlow framework is put to work with the press of a button. However, the developer says that the process "not (that) fast".

Another weak point about the DIY charger is that the software runs on internet, meaning that the system could stop working if there were an internet outage. Thus, Larson still needs to put in more work and effort into his DIY project.

Automatic chargers have long been talked about by Tesla CEO Elon Musk but there has been no news about it since 2015, Car and Driver reported. Last year though, Musk had said that "metal gear snake" automatic charger is still in Tesla's development plans.

First Published Date: 06 Jul 2021, 14:42 PM IST
Recommended For You
View All
NEXT ARTICLE BEGINS

Please provide your details to get Personalized Offers on

Choose city
+91 | Choose city
Choose city
Choose city
By clicking VIEW OFFERS you Agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy

Dear Name

Please verify your mobile number.

+91 | Choose city