Sprint kicks tires on robot electric vehicle chargers in NYC

Sprint is working with Adaptive Motion Group to test self-driving robots in New York City for charging electric vehicles. (Pixabay)

Sprint has teamed up with Adaptive Motion Group to test self-driving robots that can charge up electric vehicles in New York City.

The robots are solar-powered and can move to where they are needed by using artificial intelligence, Sprint's IoT technology and Sprint's 5G mobile network, the latter of which will go live in New York City in the first half of next year. Until the 5G network is up and running, the "Mobi" self-driving robots are using Sprint's LTE network.

"We are thrilled to demonstrate just how an intelligent robot like Mobi will dramatically reduce CO2 emissions across New York City by making electric vehicle use more practical," said Ivo Rook, senior vice president, IoT at Sprint, in a prepared statement. "AMG's impressive self-driving and positioning will come alive through Sprint IoT technology and the next-generation Sprint 5G mobile network we are building—allowing it to travel to parked vehicles across the city. The current reality of vehicles taking turns at electric charging stations is just not efficient and slows the real-world adoption of EVs (electronic vehicles). We believe that this is the ultimate solution for a cleaner, healthier New York City."

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The robots are equipped with solar energy cells and a lithium-ion battery by LG Electronics. The Mobi robots will get their bearings from small 5G signal units mounted on street fixtures to enable accurate location navigation, which is known as micropositioning. AMG CEO David Bruemmer said that in addition to parking lots, micropositioning could also be used for connected vehicles and augmented reality.

New York City's NYCx project has a stated goal of reducing CO2 emmissions by 40% by 2030.