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Tesla unveils weird new car-charging robo-snake - The Washington Post

Ride the snake. (Courtesy of Tesla)

When Tesla's billionaire founder Elon Musk tweetedin December that the all-electric carmakerwas working on a charger"that automatically moves out from the wall and connects like a solid metal snake. For realz," no one really knew what he was talking about.

Now, courtesy of a videoshared Thursday, we know, and it's morebizarre 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 Teslasays at launch it could work with every Model S on the road. That's the automaker's award-gobbling$67,000sedan, which, while we're talking about automatic upgrades, can also drive and park itself, too.

[Electric-car rivals like the Tesla killer are exactly what Elon Musk wants]

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

Tesla has revealed a new robo-snake that automatically moves from the wall and charges cars. (Tesla)

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

The $34 billion California carmaker has become a techie'sdream for its constant upgrades to the Model S, someof which are installed automaticallythrough 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 lessthan 3 seconds.

[Heres how far every Tesla Model S can go on a single charge]

On Wednesday, Tesla saidit plans to producemore than12,000 carsin thethird quarter, 60 percent more than last year,including a smallnumber of its new SUV, theModel 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 technologywasn't creepy enough?Its unveiling comes the same day asresearchers announced they were able to hack into the Model S and hitthe brakes. Just imagine what ablack-hat hacker could do with an army of robo-snakes.

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