To use Ray, car owners drive into a parking garage and leave their car in a designated area. After they confirm on a touchscreen that they have exited the vehicle, Ray swoops in.
Ray measures the car, then uses a makeshift fork lift to pick up it. (Ray can carry cars up to 3.31 tons in weight.) Ray then carries the car to a valet lot at the back of the garage. This particular airport has 249 parking spots for robot valeted vehicles, though they may expand the lot if interest demands it.
As an added bonus, Ray is connected to the airport's flight data system. The robot links customer trip info to their car, so it knows when they will return for their car and can prepare it. If the traveler is running late or has made changes to their trip, they can alter their schedule in a mobile app directly, which also links directly to Ray.
“Our product is especially appealing to business travelers, who arrive at the airport shortly before the flight, seek efficient parking, and return within a few days," Thomas Schnalke, the airport's managing director, told Mashable.
Daily parking with Ray is $39.59 a day, or $5.46 an hour for shorter visits at Düsseldorf. Check out a video Ray the Robot moving a car:
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.