Robotics - Next: Smart Car Wash

By Robert Roman

03/01/20

The Jetsons was an animated sitcom produced by Hanna-Barbera I used to watch when I was a kid back in the early 1960s. Head of household George Jetson commuted to work in an aero car with a transparent bubble top. The family’s daily life was leisurely and assisted by numerous labor-saving devices including Rosie the household robot.

Although kids today aren’t studying space history, astrophysics, or star geometry like six-year-old Elroy Jetson did, many of the labor-saving devices portrayed in the cartoon have come to pass.

Today, you can buy robotic floor scrubbers, lawn mowers, drones with cameras, self-cleaning automatic litter box, and a window-cleaning robot with smartphone remote.

According to robotic news site Hizook, the Healthcare Robotics Laboratory at Georgia Institute of Technology has developed a robotic wash system for bedridden patients.

In the Netherlands, a robotic arm is being developed to replace gas pump attendants (code name: Tank Pit Stop).

Shown above is Stan, the robotic parking lot valet developed by French company Stanley Robotics. Stan will be used in trials at the United Kingdom’s Gatwick Airport. Stan is 100 percent electric and even has a pair of electric blue eyes that, while they don’t have any function at all, do give Stan a touch of character.

Shown above is the EO smart connecting car developed by DFKI GmbH and University of Bremen Robotics Innovation Center in Germany. The EO smart can be driven normally or diagonally; it can turn on the spot, and drive sideways. It is also possible to shrink the car by almost a meter in length and to autonomously dock at charging stations. Its modular design also allows for connecting extension modules like range extenders, passenger modules or cargo modules.

Automation and robotics are slowly changing the way we live. For example, consider the difference between a conventional parking garage and an automated one. Robotic Parking Systems Inc. has expanded its capabilities to include an electric vehicle recharging system and an automatic car wash system.

Robotic integrated into the automated parking system a touchless portal and dryer that performs the wash procedure through software embedded commands. To achieve full LEED certification, Robotic recommends combining the car wash with a water recycling system that only uses five liters of fresh water per one car wash.

Historically, robotics in the car wash industry has meant in-bay automatic systems. Perhaps in the future robotics will refer to machines such as the 1KMXC car wash robot billed as the industry’s first smart car wash.

According to website Artificial Intelligence, Hangzhou-based 1KMXC, has secured a strategic round of financing from Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding. The company has confirmed the funding round to China Money Network, but financial terms of the round were not disclosed by the company.

IKMXC features an intelligent unmanned guidance system consisting of laser radar, ultrasonic inspection, and photoelectric positioning to provide users with better guidance and car wash experience.

Human-computer interaction is facilitated with a detection system and cloud-computing platform, and integrated voice interaction scenarios provide better help. The wash control system also has a patented machine algorithm to learn a large amount of data models.

IKMXC also has image recognition technology that provides for dynamic detection, stop-and-roll reminder, risk vehicle reminder, and anti-child break protection. IKMXC also comes with its own intelligence terminal or customer app.

Bob Roman is president of RJR Enterprises – Consulting Services (www.carwashplan.com). You can reach Bob via e-mail at bob@carwashplan.com.



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