The latest skilled trade in the crosshairs of the robotics industry might be at your local auto repair shop.
TechCrunch is reporting that a startup called RoboTire has been stockpiling investors over the past two years and is ready to come out of stealth mode.
The former CEO of Spark Robotics, Victor Darolfi, reportedly came up with the idea for RoboTire after waiting for three hours in a traditional tire shop. If we can use robots to put tires on in automotive manufacturing, he thought, why not on the service side too?
So, in 2018, he launched the company that is about to hit primetime after a stint with the startup incubator Y Combinator.
Darolfi claims RoboTire can do four tires “put-in to pull-out” in a mere 10 minutes — compared to about 60 minutes for a human technician. The robotics company has partnered with Mitsubishi on a system that it hopes to license to dealers and service centers.
The company says the RoboTire system should generate $10,000 per month, effectively paying for its quarter-of-a-million-dollar price in about two years. The system is currently being piloted at repair shop in San Marcos, Calif., but RoboTire hopes to go further with partnerships and says its latest round of funding will go towards building out eight units to add heft to the pilot program.
And once it’s off the ground, Darolfi says manufacturing and assembly will take place in the Motor City itself.