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August 24th, 2015 at 5:24 pm

Tesla unveils new car-charging Snakebot

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Elon Musk, founder of Tesla, tweeted in December that the all-electric carmaker was working on a charger ”that automatically moves out from the wall and connects like a solid metal snake. A video shows it’s more bizarre and mesmerizing than we could have imagined. Of its unveiling, Musk tweeted, “Tesla Snakebot autocharger prototype. Does seem kinda wrong :)”

The bendy robo-eel is in testing now, but Tesla says at launch it could work with every Model S on the road. That’s the automaker’s award-gobbling $67,000 sedan, which, while we’re talking about automatic upgrades, can also drive and park itself, too.

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Details of how the robo-snake slithers around are sketchy. But it helps that the Model S has a charge-port door that opens automatically when it senses a nearby charging nozzle, using the same technology that pushes the car’s door handles out when the driver approaches with the keys.

As for where the robo-snakes might be installed? A good guess might be at some of Tesla’s 487 nationwide Supercharger stations.

The $34 billion California carmaker has become a techie’s dream for its constant upgrades to the Model S, some of which are installed automatically through over-the-air software updates. Last month, Musk said the car would soon come with a $10,000 option allowing “ludicrous mode,” which would push the car from 0 to 60 mph in less than 3 seconds.

On Wednesday, Tesla said it plans to produce more than 12,000 cars in the third quarter, 60 percent more than last year, including a small number of its new SUV, the Model X, which Musk said was “maybe the hardest car to develop in the world.” (Its tech curiosities include falcon-wing doors that fold up, instead of swing out.)

As if the new technology wasn’t creepy enough? Its unveiling comes the same day as researchers announced they were able to hack into the Model S and hit the brakes. Just imagine what a black-hat hacker could do with an army of robo-snakes.

Image and article via The Washington Post

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