Let the Apple Car rumors roll on. And let’s add some Apple Bot rumors to ‘em. Apple has been filed for a charging system patent (number 10,418,863) that offers the possibility of a robot charging a vehicle.
In the patent filing, Apple says that when it comes to transferring power between a source of power and equipment that requires power, usually a user has to manually plug in a power cable. In other systems, a user must align equipment to be powered with a wireless charging source.
Apple says these types of systems can be “cumbersome and inefficient” as they may be prone to misalignment, operator error, and other concerns that can make it difficult or impossible to provide power as efficiently as desired. The tech giant says it would therefore be “desirable” to be able to provide improved systems for transferring power to equipment that uses power.
Of course, the invention could involve other devices rather than an Apple Car. However, it specifically mentions that such a device could be an electric vehicle.
Here’s the summary of the patent: “A mobile charging device may be used to move a battery or a power cord to a target device. The target device may be a vehicle or other equipment with a battery. Power from the power cord or battery in the charging device may be used to provide power to the target device to recharge the battery in the target device.
“The charging device may couple a power cord to the target device, may couple a connector in the charging device to the target device, or may use a wireless power transfer element such as a coil antenna to transfer power wirelessly to the target device. Sensors may be used to facilitate alignment between the charging device and target device. Sensors may also be used to dynamically detect and avoid foreign objects in the path of the charging device.”
Of course, Apple files for — and is granted — lots of patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many are for inventions that never see the light of day. However, you never can tell which ones will materialize in a real product.