Robotics automation company, RoboTire, is changing the way tires get changed one tire store at a time with the help of robots.
The new technology that will help revolutionize the tire-changing process was created by RoboTire as a way to help tire shops cut down on intensive physical work while ensuring safety for all. “We want to help tire shops. We want to help them create the shop of the future, and robotics and automation is very much a part of that.”, says RoboTire spokesman Ben Wilson.
What is usually an hour-long and laborious job is now cut down to 20-25 minutes all thanks to the tire-changing robots. To achieve such quick and impressive results, RoboTire made use of advanced robotics software that will let the robots learn a combination of machine learning and artificial intelligence while aided by cameras.
This is not the first time robots have been aiding humans with our jobs and tasks, and certainly not the first time people have responded with a fear that their jobs will be taken over by these AI machines.
To that, Wilson retorted, “Everyone thinks of robots and gets nervous. Everyone thinks they’re taking jobs away, but really, there are no jobs taken away”. To support Wilson’s statement, the way the RoboTire robots work is through an automated process that will still require the help of human technicians.
Whenever a car pulls up, two robot arms will can the tires of the car to locate the lug nuts. After this, a human technician will use a handheld scanner to retrieve the VIN number of the car, which the robot will also learn. The robot will then proceed to remove the bolts and place the old tire onto a mat.
Once the robot has done this for all the tires that need changing, a green light will turn on to indicate that the human technician can enter the room again so one may fill up the pressure in the new tire. The human technical will then place the tire on a designated mat for the robot to install or torque.
As simple as this may sound, the whole process is actually a potential safety risk that is associated with over and under-torquing the lug nuts. Not to mention the labor of it all can take a toll on human technicians because of the physical strain it requires over time.
With the help of the RoboTire robots, the whole manual process is now automated and cut short. “It’s designed to really make the process so easy and so seamless, that (technicians) are more of an overseer, as opposed to active participants in the process,” says Wilson. As proof that the human employees and robots are working harmoniously, Discount Tire store manager, Dazohn Fisher, comments, “It’s pretty cool to see the growth with the technicians, and we’re excited to see the growth of the robot as well.”.
The technology used by RoboTire was two years in the making and was first implemented at a store in Arizona back in August 2022. Seeing positive results, RoboTire has branched out to its second retailer partner, Discount Tire, in Arlington. Seeing as how things are going, we may expect more tire stores to start implementing RoboTire robots to change all our car tires.