The imaginable future where our cars fly, entire meals come in the form of one pill and robots do our everyday biddings still mostly seems like something out of a sci-fi film. Mostly. We’re on the verge of maintaining the idea that self-driven vehicles is a normal occurrence, but what about a valet service that fetches everyone’s vehicles without the hassle of finding your ride home and hauling your luggage across the airport parking lot? Well, that’s here too.
The French robotics company, Stanley Robotics, has been busy coming up with a new idea that will increase the way we parks our cars when busy travelers or vacationers fly. The concept is simple but the technology is impressive. Using an array of sensors, the mini forklift design lifts your entire car off the ground with support under all four tires. Stan, the name given to the self-parking robot, then maneuvers through tight parking spaces and neatly places your car in the designated parking area.
Upon returning from your trip, Stan (or one of the many ‘Stans’ operating at said airport) fetches your car while you and your loved ones are making your arrival to the airport and stores your car in a designated personal sized garage awaiting your departure home. No enduring hike to scavenge around for your vehicle; no potential lost keys as they stay safely with you; and, best of all, the comfort of knowing your car was stored and parked safely while you were away.
Of course, this new idea doesn’t just have to be limited to airports. Parking garages, outdoor stadium lots and festival grounds could all benefit from ridding themselves cluttered and often dysfunctional parking areas resulting in impatient drivers losing their cool while behind the wheel. Imagine waiting patiently for your car to be delivered to you near the exit of any overly-packed event, and from there you could simply drive in an orderly fashioned line onto the freeway. Hey, we can dream can’t we?
Currently, Stan is being tested at Gatwack Airport in the UK, but has also seen trials in various German and French airports. Users are finding this new invention incredibly satisfying, as one customer goes on to praise the new self-parking system, “After using this service I don’t see any reason to park any other way.”
The valet robot utilizes the precise tech to determine each vehicle’s size and weight for proper calculations upon lifting the vehicle. And since each car is simply placed into the parking space from the outside rather than a driver on the inside, cars can be parked incredibly close to one another, maximizing the total parking area for full efficiency.
Along with offering a certain quality of life to weary travelers, the new valet robot is also 100% electric, can operate in extreme weather conditions and require no human assistance once tied-in to the airports reservation system. Stan also adapts to almost any current parking area an airport offers, requiring very little set-up time when making the switch to the robotic service.
Yes, all of this sounds too good to be true for the average frequent flyer. What happens when one breaks down or the entire system collapses from an unknown glitch? How heavy of a vehicle can one Stan carry before toppling over? How frequent or expensive is maintenance on these incredibly precise sensors? While there’s undoubtedly more questions to be ironed out, the test trials are under way and, so far, Stan seems to be winning the airport crowd over.
Source: Stanley Robotics