One of the problems with cars is that they take space. A lot of space, mainly when they are not being used. A research project is developing robots that could make the task of parking cars a totally different experience.
The authors claim that “a swarm of robots is able to extract vehicles from confined spaces with delicate handling, swiftly and in any direction. The novel lifting robots are capable of omnidirectional movement, thus they can under-ride the desired vehicle and dock to its wheels for a synchronized lifting and extraction. The overall developed system applies reasoning about available trajectory paths, wheel identification, local and undercarriage obstacle detection, in order to fully automate the process.”
This is one amazing idea, and while right now they are probably targeting the security forces that need to deal with badly parked cars and potential threats to security, I imagine that these would be great in managing parking silos. One could just drop the car at the entrance and a group of robots would take the car and park the car in the silo as to optimise the space available. No more having to put with those drivers that need the space of three cars to park a CORSA.
Well, in any case the European team of AVERT is going to present this work on a conference, but I see a lot of potential in their idea to make this into a commercial success. The preprint of the paper is available for download.
In a not so far away future robots will replace valets and optimise parking space in silos. Great!