(Tech Xplore)—Dreaded scenario in parking garage: crammed with cars, you are running out of time but only available space after going round and round in lot looks too small to accommodate your car—but you are going to try anyway.
Just the kind of situation most car owners would like to erase as part of the driving experience. Might a robot step up to end your parking headaches?
Say hello to Geta, a laser-guided parking robot. A Reuters video stated that trying to squeeze into near-impossible parking spaces could become a thing of the past for Chinese drivers, adding that this smart parking robot takes two minutes to navigate the tightest spots.
Wu Marco, CEO of Shenzhen Yeefung Automation Technology Co Ltd, is behind this technology: "The robot can go everywhere without tracks." Such a robot could reform parking in the future.
How it works: The robot goes underneath vehicles and proceeds to move them into the space. The video presenter spoke about how the machine picks up the vehicle and positions it precisely, using up less space than parking a vehicle manually.
Laser navigation enables the machine to see what is going on, scanning a reflected signal to pinpoint its location. The signal is then transmitted to a computer containing a map, which then tells the robot where to go.
China Daily also pointed out that its laser navigation helps it to sense obstacles within half a meter, and the robot can automatically stop if there is any.
Geta has 360-degree mobility, said E&T.
This is an AGV (automated guided vehicle) robot, said China Daily, and this AGV tech helps the parking robot find its way to the parking spot without leaving tracks on the floor, which makes it easier to build new parking facilities or renovate existing ones.
(China Daily made the point that "The device can also intensively utilize land resources by narrowing down the distance between cars from 2.5 to 2 meters and the width of pathways from 8 to 6 meters, as well as taking out at least two pathways among each four rows of cars, compared with a traditional parking lot.")
China is predicted to have around 170 million cars by 2017, demand for the parking automaton should be high, said the presenter.
The Reuters article on the robot said that Mainland China is expected to have more than 200 million cars by 2020, and finding space to park could become increasingly difficult.
"There are many companies interested in our products, such as commercial property companies in Singapore and London, public parking companies in the Middle East, and developers, governments, as well as public parking companies in China," the CEO said in the Reuters report.
China Daily reported recently that Zhang Jun, a director of the quality committee of Beijing-based China Parking System Manufacturers Association, believed there was still a huge gap between available parking lots and demand.
The robot, purple and lime green, is soon to be launched, said Reuters, priced at around 150,000 US dollars.
"Parking will be as simple as leaving vehicles to Geta at the entrance platform and using an application on a mobile phone to retrieve it automatically," said Wu in China Daily.
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