High-tech company ROCSYS has secured a €200K investment from UNIIQ to help further develop its technology to enable unmanned charging of electric vehicles. Bas Vollebregt, Delft city councillor, announced the investment at the opening of the ROCSYS public test facility at the Green Village in Delft.
UNIIQ is a €22 million investment fund focused on the proof-of-concept phase, which helps entrepreneurs in West Holland bring their unique innovation to the market faster. UNIIQ offers entrepreneurs the seed capital to achieve their plans and bridge the riskiest phase from concept to promising business. A consortium, including Erasmus MC, TU Delft, Leiden University and the regional development agency InnovationQuarter, created the fund. UNIIQ was made possible by the European Union, the Province of South Holland and the municipalities of Rotterdam, The Hague, and Leiden. InnovationQuarter is responsible for fund management.
Developing robotic arm!
ROCSYS is developing a ‘soft’ robotic arm and computer vision technology to enable the fully automated charging of electric vehicles. As this operation does not require human input, plugging and unplugging will become faster and safer; for instance, high voltages can be used safely during the automated charging of commercial vehicles. Of course, this will be convenient for drivers of electric cars. But it will also benefit operators of fast-charging stations and owners of commercial fleets, comprising trucks, buses, and industrial vehicles, as they will be able to make optimal use of their assets.
With its technology, ROCSYS is making significant improvements to electric vehicle charging infrastructure. The company’s innovation gives the energy transition an important boost and paves the way for future developments as autonomous driving and parking.
Patented soft robotics and computer vision technology
What makes ROCSYS’ automatic charging solution unique and distinctive is the use of soft robotics and computer vision technology. This combination guides the plug to the socket of the electric vehicle, after which the soft robotics enable the vehicle to be scanned as it were before the plug is finally plugged in. The soft nature of the robotic arm also allows the system to absorb shocks, such as when the driver gets in or out of the car. In addition, the system sees and ‘senses’ when a person puts their hand against the plug. The ‘soft’ robotic arm stops moving and, unlike standard robotic arms, does not continue on its path. This makes the system completely safe for users.
An experienced team of serial entrepreneurs
ROCSYS was founded by a team of experienced entrepreneurs with highly complementary skills and strengths: Crijn Bouman (co-founder of Epyon, a fast-charging station company based in Delft), Joost van der Weijde (PhD candidate in soft robotics and co-founder of SpringScan) and Kanter van Deurzen (co-founder of Fizyr, a Delft-based computer vision technology company). The team, therefore, has a solid technological foundation as well as access to a very broad network in the industry.
The functionality of this technology has already been proven in a controlled lab environment in Robovalley. The UNIIQ investment will be used for the next stage of development, which involves testing and optimising the automatic charging technology in the real-life setting of the Green Village field lab.
Picture credit: Guido Pijper
— Press release
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