Friday, September 16, 2005

Robot Car Park

Dubai to have robotic car parks soon
By Zaigham Ali Mirza

According to a source in Dubai Municipality, the civic body is all set to install on a trial basis an operator-less robotic car parking facility near its headquarters in Deira in just over a month’s time. Occupying space slightly more than three parking slots (4.5 metres by 7.5 metres), the 20-metre robotic car parking facility, currently being installed at the premises of East and West Robotics LLC for final testing, will accommodate as many as 16 vehicles.

Nicolas Amiouni, senior robotics engineer and Director of Operations at East and West Robotics, said, "A motorist has to just park the car near the gate of the car park and move away. The robotics take over and park the car. If there is a problem with the way the car is parked near the gate, the system will inform the driver and guide him in parking it correctly," Amiouni said, adding that the interface is 'intelligent' enough to point out constraints such as height and weight of a vehicle. To retrieve a parked vehicle the driver has to simply give a couple of rings on a telephone number (connected to the system) and the vehicle is brought down to be driven away.

According to Amiouni, it takes an average of 26 seconds for the robotic car park to park a vehicle, while the same for a human ranges from 15 seconds to one minute, depending on the type of parking slot, the driver's proficiency and his/her habits. "There are some drivers who take over a minute to park and leave their cars as they groom themselves inside the vehicle after parking it."

In case there is a malfunction, the system is designed to seek attention from the maintenance by sending out an SMS to the concerned section. But a malfunction is quite out of question.

Khaleej Times Online


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