Skip to main content

Racing to catch a flight? Robot valet at French airport will park your car

Stanley Robotics - World premiere: Stan reinvents parking at Lyon-Saint Exupéry airport

“Oh, I don’t park my own car; I get a robot to do it for me.” That might sound like the kind of arrogant statement you’d expect to hear coming out of the mouth of a snooty character in a sci-fi show, but it’s not quite as futuristic as you might expect.

At France’s Lyon Airport, startup Stanley Robotics has unveiled its new automated robotic valet system. Set to be opened to airport passengers in the coming weeks, the robot-managed parking lot means that it may never again be necessary to circle packed airport lots searching for an empty space. Instead, airport visitors simply book a parking spot in advance on the website, then drop their vehicle off at a designated point. While the passengers then head to the terminal via a dedicated shuttle service, one of four autonomous robot valets will sort out the rest of the parking hassle. It’s like the ultimate car accessory.

“After your drop off, our robots come to take care of your car,” Edouard Petit, head of marketing and communications for Stanley Robotics, told Digital Trends. “The robot lifts your car by the wheels slowly, and then takes it to park for you in a closed and secure parking lot. After your trip, the experience is also very easy. When you book your place, you inform our booking system for your flights. With this information, we know exactly when you will be back, even if your flight is delayed. A few minutes before your return flight arrives, our robot comes to pick up your car again.”

Image used with permission by copyright holder

By the time you, the passenger, arrive back at the cabin you dropped your car off at, it’s ready and waiting to take you home.

While this isn’t the only robot valet system we’ve covered, Stanley Robotics claims that this is the world’s first outdoor car park to be managed entirely by bots. The robots built by the company boast several smart sensors which, combined with its A.I. algorithms, will ensure that it avoids collisions while parking. The robots can transport any standard-size car up to 16 feet in length and 6,000 pounds in weight.

According to Petit, this kind of technology isn’t just going to be useful for passengers, but airports as well. With more people traveling all the time, space requirements for modern airports are always growing. Using this kind of robot valet parking system can, he claims, help optimize space and create around 50 percent more available parking by enabling vehicles to be packed in more systematically.

Editors' Recommendations

Luke Dormehl
I'm a UK-based tech writer covering Cool Tech at Digital Trends. I've also written for Fast Company, Wired, the Guardian…
Want to drive a giant, four-legged racing mech? This is your chance
Prosthesis robot

Robot exoskeletons exist in 2020, but most of them don’t look like the ones you see in the movies. That’s all well and great if you’re looking for a robot assistive suit that could fit under your clothes without too much added bulk. However, if you always dreamed of piloting something that looks like it marched out of the world of StarCraft or Warhammer 40,000, you’d better look elsewhere.

Like, in the direction of Prosthesis.

Read more
This tiny robot tank could one day help doctors explore your intestine

With a bulky, armored appearance, heavy duty treads for gripping, and a claw arm on the front, the Endoculus robot vehicle looks like it belongs on the battlefield. In fact, it’s just 3 cm wide, 2.3 cm tall, and designed for an entirely different kind of inhospitable environment: Your intestine.

“[This] robotic capsule endoscope, Endoculus, is a tethered robot designed for colonoscopy applications,” Mark Rentschler, a mechanical engineering professor in the Advanced Medical Technologies Laboratory at the University of Colorado, told Digital Trends. “The goals are twofold: design a platform for a robot endoscope in the gastrointestinal tract, and enable autonomous capabilities to assist physicians with disease diagnosis and treatment during these procedures.”

Read more
Robotic rubdown: New robo-masseuse could make its way into your home
Massage robot thumbnail 1

Massage robot demo

Robots are all about automating certain pain points, whether that’s Roombas carrying out the vacuuming in our home or Starship Technologies-style delivery robots grabbing takeout food and bringing it to us wherever we happen to be at the time. A new home massage robot developed by researchers from the U.K.’s University of Plymouth takes this idea of pain points quite literally -- by promising to rub and knead them out of your shoulders and back whenever and however you require.

Read more