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Self Docking Car Heater

Park near any outlet, car plugs itself in.
  [vote for,

One of the best ways to improve engine fuel economy, and reduce engine wear in winter is to make use of an engine block heater. But plugging one in is a task easily forgotten.

This idea reduces the odds of forgetting to plug the car in.

Whenever the car is parked in a location that user has indicated to have an AC outlet nearby (locations are kept track of with GPS), a robotic arm with a plug and video camera on it extends from the front of the car.

An image recognition system allows the robotic arm to seek out an AC outlet, and push the plug into it.

When one starts the engine, the arm unplugs from the outlet, and retracts into the car.

Naturally, this same system can also be used to charge the car's battery... but an engine block heater is at least as important.

goldbb, Jan 22 2014


       While this is a good idea [+], I feel the car is as mature a product that has ever existed. A complex one at least, I'm willing to concede that the machete hasn't undergone a lot of innovation recently. My point being, that it may not be possible to adapt the motor car to this new para- digum.   

       Approaching this from the other end, literally and figuratively may be the key. Electrical moving objects that charge are WKTE, and we can jst work up from there. So, Giant Roomba. Replace the dustpan with a passenger compartment and scale it up. Done.
bs0u0155, Jan 23 2014

       [bu0u0155], perhaps you could modify your Roomba to simply carry the appropriate end of an extension cord out to the car. Then the car can be less precise about its location, for receiving power. Either the car or the cord-carrier could make the final plug-in link.
Vernon, Jan 23 2014

       Nope, transport must change. massive Passenger- carrying Roombas that get to their destination by random exploring. The "driver" only has a big "stop" button which will also simplify the licensing procedure.
bs0u0155, Jan 23 2014

       You'll save a lot of weight by having the robot on the other side.
Voice, Jan 23 2014

       I am made nervous by robot arms that grope around trying to insert plugs in things.
bungston, Jan 24 2014

       With a drive over induction pad, you can't drive off before the robot can yank the cord.
popbottle, Jan 24 2014


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