Vasco Portugal, a Sustainable Energy Systems PhD student in the MIT Portugal Program, co-developed with the MIT student Jason Gao (MIT PhD – Computer Science) a prototype of a built-in sidewalk charger for the CityCar - the MIT Media Lab electric car. This prototype is featured at the main entrance of the Media Lab in the exhibition - Wheels + Legs - until May, 31st.
The exhibition Wheels + Legs results from a shared commitment to disruptive technologies created at the interface of traditional disciplines under the motto “The only limitations are physical law and the boundaries of our collective imaginations”. Within this context, the innovative prototype developed by Vasco Portugal and Jason Gao was selected to be featured at this exhibition. The prototype is a charger for the electric cars that was designed to be embedded in the sidewalk, a weatherproof system incorporated in the pavement, creating a smart parking lot that discreetly charges the electric vehicle while it is parked. The device uses conduction to transfer power between a charging pad in the sidewalk and a receiver in the front or back of the car. Underlying is the idea that the user simply has to park the CityCar directly in touch with a pad in the pavement to begin charging, rather than having to connect a power cable manually.