Around The Home

Garage parking system is designed to beat the hanging tennis ball

Garage parking system is designed to beat the hanging tennis ball
Park-a-Dot works with existing garage door safety systems
Park-a-Dot works with existing garage door safety systems
View 1 Image
Park-a-Dot works with existing garage door safety systems
Park-a-Dot works with existing garage door safety systems

A tennis ball on a string may good at letting you know when you've fully pulled your car into your garage, but it can get in the way, plus its location is based on the length of one specific vehicle. Inventor Mitchel Ottinger has created what he thinks is a better system, in the form of Park-a-Dot.

Since the early 90s, all garage door openers have been required to be equipped with safety systems that keep the door from closing on obstacles. These systems consist of a unit that emits a beam of infrared light, along with a sensor that receives that beam. If that light is blocked by something in the path of the door – such as a car or a person – the beam won't be received by the sensor, and the door will stop closing.

Park-a-Dot works with such systems, sensing that infrared beam. When the car's bumper is clear of the door and the beam is no longer blocked, Park-a-Dot projects a red dot of laser light onto the garage wall in front of the vehicle. This lets the driver know that they're far enough in, and they can stop.

It can reportedly be user-installed in about 20 minutes, and is powered by two AA batteries that should last for over a year. It should be noted, however, that the system will only work with garage door openers made by Chamberlain, Craftsman or LiftMaster.

If you're interested, Park-a-Dot is currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign. A pledge of US$29 will get you a setup, assuming it reaches production. The planned retail price is $40.

The system is demonstrated in the following video.

Source: Kickstarter

Park-a-Dot Garage Parking Sensor - Crowdfunding Video

Most garages I've seen have the sensors mounted a couple inches above the ground... probably not high enough to catch the bumper passing.
Fairly Reasoner
Correct, eMacPaul. And the reason for not mounting them higher is that, by doing so, you compromise the system's ability to detect a small obstacle at floor level (like a CHILD).
мяч лучше. мяч дешевле. для мяча не нужны батарейки. для второй машины просто повесьте второй мяч.
Doug Southern
Sounds complicated. For years I have had an infra-red beam across the door access of my double garage and 2 simple lights one on inside wall the other on door wall. This means when i drive in whether frountways or backwards and the light is on then I know I have to ease in further. It can be either a 12v system if the door motor is 12v with battery or 220v.
Huh - I just use a simple floor mat with bumps on it designed for exactly this purpose - drive in and when the tire crosses the "speed bump" I know I'm far enough in. Importantly, too, when I park the back of the car is about 18 inches from the garage door - a useful clearance to get to the trunk - sounds like this will give the visual indicator just when the rear of the car clears the door frame - too far back (and that's assuming my bumper is low enough to trigger it, as @eMacPaul has already pointed out)
Kudos, Mitch. You saw a need and are producing a product which should work AND which isn't severely overpriced! That is so very RARE today. I wish you the best of luck with it.