Robot Parking In Fact and In Fiction
The first robot parking garage to be opened in New York city will be ready for business this month. You can find it in Chinatown.
(From Robot Parking Garage in NYC)
The developers of the "robot" can now fit 67 cars in an apartment building basement that would ordinarily fit only 24. Here's how it works: first, you park your car on a pallet and get out. The pallet is lowered into the "garage" and then positioned in an open space.
It's all computer-controlled; it costs about $25 per day, which is competitive with other non-robotic parking in NYC.
Science fiction writers have been well out ahead of this trend. In his 1941 novel Methuselah's Children, Robert Heinlein wrote about an automated parking garage called a robopark:
Outside her friend's apartment [Mary] dropped down a bounce tube to the basement, claimed her car from the robopark, guided it up the ramp...
(Read more about Heinlein's robopark)
If you're thinking of buying the Robopark.com domain, you're too late; it's owned by Robotic Parking. They are a US-based firm that opened the first fully automated parking garage in Hoboken in 2002.
Frank Herbert briefly refers to a robotic parking garage in his 1977 novel The Dosadi Experiment and identifies a key element that makes it work:
He activated the grapple tracks. The skitter jerked into motion, danced sideways, and slid smoothly down the driveway to the street.
(Read more about grapple tracks)
The recent movie I, Robot also featured a very well-drawn automated parking garage. Will Smith is shown below "parking" his futuristic Audi.
(Robot parking garage from iRobot movie)
As with other software-controlled devices, problems can occur. A software "crash" in a robot parking garage can actually damage your car. The Hoboken garage dropped an unoccupied Cadillac Devile six floors in 2004.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 2/3/2007)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )
Related News Stories -
Stick-On Tape Speakers, As Predicted By Bruce Sterling
Flexible tape speakers, someday.
Has Climate Change Already Been Solved By Aliens?
'I had explained," said Nessus, "that our civilisation was dying in its own waste heat.' - Larry Niven, 1970.
Skin Electronics 3D Printed
'June's body is a tracery of lambent lines, like some arcane capillary circuitry...' - Paul Di Filippo, 1985
Super-Resolution Microscopy Provides '4D' Views
View the magnified interior of living cells.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Sleeep PRO Earplug For Maximum Rest
'Merton... placed the electrodes of the sleep-inducer on his forehead.'
Inspired By Japan, Nap Pods For Hajj
It's always a good time for a nap.
Amphibio 3D Printed Gill Shirt
'... we can descend and live down there at one of those year-round aquatic resorts.'
How Do You Put An Asteroid Into Earth Orbit? Carefully!
'...she would have to be coaxed by another series of pats into a circular orbit.'
PD Aerospace Space Plane By 2023
'The sleek, tapered space shuttle lay immobile upon the private landing field...'
Foldimate Folds Your Clothes Perfectly
Look ma, my room is clean! I can hear you now.
Robots Help People Get Dressed, As Predicted In 1931
Yes, people of the future, robots will dress you.
International Space Station Leak Plugged - With Finger
'These tag-alongs search out stray leaks.'
Robot Snake Flies, Fights Fires
Just a prototype, but still amazing.
IPAL Chinese Robot Babysitter
'But Nanny is different...'
ZKZM-500 LASER Assault Rifle
'The Iranian reached back into the locker and got a pair of laserifles.'
LA Subway Scanner, As Seen In 'Total Recall'
'I'm afraid to tell you this Mr. Quaid, but you have suffered a schizoed embolism...'
Sion Electric Car Covered With Solar Panels
'It drew its power from six square yards of sunpower screens on its low curved roof.'
PAL-V Liberty Flying Helicopter Car
'...lifted themselves to skimming flight upon whirling helicopters."
Space Drones - UK's Effective Space To Launch Rocket Tugs
'Twenty rocket tugs towed it from its Earth hangar out into space.'
DIY Autonomous Robot Detects Trash
'The search-bug detached itself and rolled forward.'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories