Robot Speeds Up Tire Changing from Hours to Minutes for Customers
In keeping with Detroit’s image of being the capital of automobile manufacturing comes a new addition to auto upkeep: changing the tires on your vehicle.
All vehicle owners have to change tires eventually in what’s often an annoying process that includes sitting for a couple of hours in the tire store’s waiting room.
That’s what caused former Sparks Robotics CEO Victor Darlofi to think about a better way of getting tires changed. Say hello to RoboTire. Partnering with Mitsubishi robotics, RoboTire has designed a system that currently runs around $250,000.
“I sat at America’s Tires for three hours and thought, hey, we use robots to put tires on at the factory,” he said. “Why don’t we bring robots into the service industry?”
Yes, it is a case of a robot taking a human’s job, but it will also create jobs in the Detroit area building RoboTire.
Techcrunch.com first wrote about RoboTire last February when it was just starting to stir some interest in investments.
After raising $170,000 in February of last year, RoboTire closed a million-dollar seed round via Type One Ventures and Backend Capital, prior to getting into YC. Next, Darolfi says the company is targeting a “very substantial round” to build out eight systems for piloting.
Well, the next round of Series A investors was led by Discount Tire to the tune of $7.5 million.
“Discount Tire is excited to support RoboTire in the development of new and innovative technologies that drive a better customer experience,” says Tom Williams, chief experience officer at Discount Tire. “As customer expectations around the ‘buy and book online’ experience and our ability to deliver reduced wait times continue to grow, we will continue to pursue automation and enhancements that ensure an inviting, easy, and safe experience for all our customers.”
How It Works
Well according to the data found at robotire.com, the company states :
The floor of any auto repair shop is loud, busy, and fast-paced. We know that. That’s why RoboTire is specifically designed to seamlessly conform to the dynamic demands of the automotive industry.
Our smart technology operates safely and effectively in the background. By using intelligent sensors, our robots are safe to operate with people in the immediate vicinity. RoboTire understands human movement and adapts to each and every environment in which it’s employed.
You can imagine the human putting in the information regarding the make and model of the car needing tires changed. RoboTire has been pre-programmed to know where the hub caps and lug nuts will be located on each vehicle. The way it does this is proprietary information of course.
If RoboTire can change four tires in 15 minutes, I’m sure a lot of us are willing to give it a shot.
read more at techcrunch.com