Tesla Unveils Snakelike Robot Charger for Electric Cars

Tesla's snake robot charger.
Tesla's snakelike electric car charger was unveiled yesterday (Aug. 6). (Image credit: Screenshot, Live Science, Tesla Motors video)

Plugging your electric car into its charger with your own two hands is so 2013. So, it's a good thing Tesla Motors is building a robot that will plug your vehicle in for you.

Last week, the company released a video on its YouTube channel that shows a snakelike robot slithering toward the charging port of Tesla's Model S electric car. The bot appears to connect with the port without any help from humans and, presumably, stays there until the car is fully charged before slithering away (though the 36-second-long video doesn't show all that).

Tesla hasn't released any additional information about this helpful piece of machinery, but the company's CEO, Elon Musk, hinted back in Dec. 2014 that something like it might be in the works. The billionaire entrepreneur tweeted to over 2 million followers that Tesla is working on a "charger that automatically moves out from the wall [and] connects like a solid metal snake." [The 6 Strangest Robots Ever Created]

And that's precisely the kind of charger you'll see in the company's new YouTube video. There isn't any notice yet about when this futuristic charger may be ready for current Tesla drivers.

Right now, Model S owners can either plug their cars in at home (or anywhere else they might have the proper equipment installed), or they can use one of the company's "supercharger" stations. These free charging stations are located in about 500 different locations around the world, and they are designed to help Tesla drivers take long-distance trips without the constant fear of a dead battery.

The company didn't reveal whether its supercharging stations would soon be upgraded to include slithering, autonomous chargers.

Follow Elizabeth Palermo @techEpalermo. Follow Live Science @livescience, Facebook & Google+. Original article on Live Science.

Elizabeth Peterson

Elizabeth is a former Live Science associate editor and current director of audience development at the Chamber of Commerce. She graduated with a bachelor of arts degree from George Washington University. Elizabeth has traveled throughout the Americas, studying political systems and indigenous cultures and teaching English to students of all ages.