© KUKA Business | July 18, 2017

VW and Kuka sign new cooperation contract

Volkswagen Group Research and automation specialist Kuka intensify their strategic partnership in the area of service concepts for vehicles of the future.
Joint development of robot-based innovation concepts for vehicles of the future has now been agreed following the signing of a new Cooperation Contract by the Chief Executive Officer of Volkswagen AG, Matthias Müller, Head of Research and Development at the Volkswagen Group, Ulrich Eichhorn, and the Chief Executive Officer of Kuka AG, Till Reuter.

Autonomous automobiles and service robots are two subsidiary aspects of mobility in the future. These aspects will be analysed jointly through the strategic partnership. “We are working intensively on structuring the mobility of tomorrow. This is not simply about innovative vehicle concepts but encompasses completely new requirements in the service sector,” explained Matthias Müller. One of the aims of the research collaboration is to develop robot-based innovations for all-electric and autonomous automobiles.

"In future, robots will support humans in many routine tasks. And everyday life in future will be inconceivable without autonomous driving. We will work together on innovative concepts in order to shape this future", adds Dr. Till Reuter, Chief Executive Officer of Kuka AG.

The new cooperation links up with an existing joint research project looking into collaboration between human and robot. The e-smart Connect project includes a practical and user-friendly solution for charging high-voltage batteries of electric vehicles produced by the Volkswagen Group. This involves a Kuka robot independently connecting up the vehicle with a charging station in a specially developed application. The driver simply has to position the electrically powered automobile in a designated parking space. The robot takes care of connecting up the charging cable for the driver.

Aside from the technological fundamentals, plans are being laid for the development of other concepts for innovative applications in the new strategic partnership. “Autonomous vehicles will contribute to making mobility safer, simpler and more convenient. This includes innovative services associated with the automobile,” commented Eichhorn. “Our aim is to use the new strategic partnership to develop other opportunities in this area.”


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