Robot Garages: An American Nightmare?

One of this year’s trends in robotics is robotic parking garages. These things save real estate, and resemble nothing so much as the old fashioned automat machines—scaled up to deliver cars! s

The NY Times reports this week that, despite success in many parts of the world, in the US Americans seem to not be able to make it work.

The NYT article recounts the tales of slow and buggy service, as well as spectacular failures that damage or destroy cars. And, unfortunately, killed at least one person. Lawsuits and bankruptcy ensue. The American dream.

OK, these are luxury buildings, so it is fun to laugh at the rich people beefing that their magical automatic garage is unusable. And it is easy enough to speculate on why Americans are so non-brilliant on this front. Over promising and under resourcing the technology? We’ve all been there. Cheapskate developers accepting low ball bids from clowns that can’t really deliver?

But c’mon.  This isn’t really that freaking difficult, though it may be a touch expensive.  This is definitely something that you should turn over to the engineers, not the property developers.  We can do this!

By the way, even my small town has a new high rise that will have robotic parking. Unfortunately, we are also at the cutting edge of the trend: the robot parking isn’t working yet (among other things) and it is reported that the manufacturer is bankrupt. This is a shame—I’ve been eagerly waiting to try it out!

But maybe I’ll borrow someone else’s car.


Robot Wednesday


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