Parking robot replaces valets to move cars into tight spaces

A parking robot that drives underneath vehicles to move them into position could eliminate parallel parking and allow for greater parking capacity in high density areas.

Developed by Chinese inventors, the robot has been designed to take away the stress for anxious drivers in tight parking situations.

Dubbed ‘Geta’ (get a car), the laser-guided robot slides under your vehicle, picks it up, finds a parking space in the lot and places the car in the tightest of spots.

The soon-to-be-launched robot needs just two minutes to park a vehicle, does not need tracks, has 360-degree mobility and will utilise space better than humans, said creators Yee Fung Automation Technology, based in the south China city of Shenzhen.

"The parking robot is designed to increase parking space," Yee Fung's chief executive and brainchild of Geta, Marco Wu said.

"The robot can go everywhere... and will reform parking in the future."

Mainland China is expected to have more than 200 million cars by 2020 meaning that finding space to park could become increasingly difficult.

Wu said Geta finds spaces by transmitting signals to a computer containing a map which then directs the robot to an available spot.

The purple and lime green robot will cost more than 1m yuan (£115,000) and Wu said there had been lots of interest from cities where space is at a premium.

"There are many companies interested in our products, such as commercial property companies in Singapore and London, public parking companies in the Middle East, and developers, governments, as well as public parking companies in China," he said.

An autonomous, self-propelling baggage robot called Leo was recently unveiled by aerospace company Sita and could eliminate long check-in queues for passengers before boarding their flight. 

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