GLOBAL. Doosan, LG unveil automated EV charger served by robot

Doosan Robotics Inc. and LG Electronics Inc. have jointly developed an automated electric vehicle charger served by a robot and launched its pilot operations at LG’s R&D complex in Seoul last week, Doosan said on Tuesday.

The automated EV charger combines Doosan’s collaborative robot with a 100-kilowatt charger developed by LG.

Its pilot operation comes as Doosan is striving to expand into the robot solution package market beyond collaborative robots.

LG has been nurturing EV chargers as a new growth driver since it acquired Korean EV charger manufacturer AppleMango, currently HiEV Charger, in 2022.

The automated charging system is made up of a kiosk that handles vehicle recognition and payment processing, as well as the main automatic charger.

When an EV enters the designated charging area, it is recognized by a separately installed camera that transmits vehicle-related information to the charging system.

After driver authentication, an artificial intelligence-based 3D camera attached to the collaborative robot determines the location of the EV charging port. Then the robot connects the charging cable to the charging port and starts charging.

When the charging is complete, the robot retracts the cable and returns it to its original location, while handling automatic payment.

Jang Ik-hwan (left), vice president and head of LG Electronics’ business solutions division and Ryu Junghoon, chief executive of Doosan Robotics (Courtesy of Doosan Robotics)

To ensure safety and accuracy in automatic charging, high-performance torque sensors are outfitted on the six joints of the collaborative robot. The charger satisfies the industry’s highest level of safety-related requirements, according to Doosan Robotics.

After the pilot operation, Doosan Robotics and LG Electronics may continue to jointly develop other types of automated charging solutions.

“This automatic charging solution is technologically demanding, requiring sensitivity, precision and safety,” Ryu Jung-hoon, chief executive of Doosan Robotics, said in a statement.

“We will keep pace with the rapidly growing electric vehicle charging market.”

Doosan Robotics is aiming to boost the sales of robot solution packages, or standardized programs to task robots with jobs, which sell about three times more expensive than collaborative robots.

In 2023, LG Electronics launched the domestic production of EV chargers. Last month, it showcased EV chargers optimized for residential and commercial spaces, as well as charging stations.