Robotics

Stan the robotic valet parks your car, no human required

Stan the robotic valet parks y...
Stan, the car-carrying robot that's being put to into service at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris
Stan, the car-carrying robot that's being put to into service at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris
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Stan, the car-carrying robot that's being put to into service at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris
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Stan, the car-carrying robot that's being put to into service at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris

Creeping through cavernous parking structures looking for an empty space and maneuvering the vehicle into a tight spot when you find one isn't up there on anyone's fun list. Once again, the robots are coming to free us from such chores. Audi has already turned to autonomous parking robots developed by Ray, and Dokk1 is a fully automated car park in Denmark. Now, Stanley Robotics' automated valet is being put into service at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris to provide people-free parking.

Stanley Robotics' robotic valet system is designed to make life easier for travelers, all the while increasing revenue for garage owners. Having reserved a parking space through a smartphone app, users drive up to a designated spot and walk away. They don't need to hand the keys to anyone, let alone worry about the attendant living out their fantasies from Ferris Bueller's Day Off in the family car.

That's because Stan is a car-carrying robot that drives up to the front of the car that needs parking and picks up it by the wheels, before whisking it off to the right parking spot. It scans the car before being parked to ensure a big SUV isn't forced into a small hatchback spot. Each robot is able to manage up to 400 car spots, and Stanley Robotics says its creation will be able to move between 20 and 30 thousand cars per year.

According to the company, its robots don't require any major changes to existing parking structures – although running with an automated valet team would allow for the removal of expensive lights, exhaust removal fans and ground markings. After all, why bother making an area look pretty when the public never actually gets to see it.

Running costs aren't the only area garage operators are expected to save money. Because clumsy humans aren't behind the wheel, there's no need to leave room between cars for opening doors. Because of this, Stanley Robotics says its system can cram up to 50 percent more cars into an existing garage. Of course, more cars means more cash for parking garage operators.

When travelers return from their trip, the car should be waiting for them in the same spot as they dropped it off since the booking system can be tied in with a customer's flight details, so Stan knows when to have the car ready.

Stan is already in action at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris. You can watch the robot in action in the video below.

Source: Stanley Robotics

Stanley Robotics - Automated Valet Parking Service

4 comments
Alien
This sounds wonderful. I like it. BUT I have one question: what happens if I want to return to my vehicle to retrieve a bag that I forgot? Oh, and how long would one have to wait for the robot to bring the car back? If that can be resolved easily then I'd vote for having it in city all centre car parks.
Koolski
This is a perfect use for a robot. If you were able to access the retrieval process through a phone app it might alleviate the problem pointed out by Alien. I don't think 1 robot could handle 400 cars though except in a low usage situation. If you used this in a city parking deck you'd need many more to handle normal peak usage issues at the beginning and ending of work days.
GirishKhanna
Loved the idea, but then realised the future of Mobility is Autonomous...we wont need this with self driving cars
Ralf Biernacki
@Girish: You're right, self-driving cars will effectively have this built-in. But there is going to be a transition period of at least a decade when there will be both kinds of car out there, and this kind of robot is an excellent way to make legacy cars compatible with new technology parking. Whoever builds these robots can rake in a lot of sales before the last manual car is transitioned out.