RoboTire Promises an Automated Tire Changing System: May Not Be the Blessing We Expect

RoboTire 11 photos
Photo: RoboTire / YouTube Screenshot
Oh, the wonders of robotics and automated services. The automotive world is one industry that's always been at the front of the pack, employing robots. Well, robots could be taking our jobs, and the first signs are being seen in Arizona.
Folks, the automotive industry is massive, with countless off-shoots of its own, and over the years, automated services and technology have been heavily explored. Why? Simple because robots are precise, don't get tired, don't eat, don't sleep, and don't need to take a smoke break. What does this mean for manufacturers or businesses that employ AI? It means absolute efficiency, plus human error can be eliminated.

This could be the thinking that has led a group of minds to develop RoboTire, a revolutionary tire-changing platform that takes the human almost entirely out of the equation. That's right, robots could very well be the ones you try and tip next time your car has been seamlessly cared for.

So, what the heck is going on here? Well, RoboTire likes to pride itself on the safety and efficiency aspect of this system, but when it comes down to it, is it really more efficient? Or does it simply replace the possible troubles that can arise when a tire is changed?

Photo: RoboTire / YouTube Screenshot
Well, it would appear that this all depends on who you ask and how professionally trained your shop's humans may be. For example, we're told that this system can change all the tires on your car in under 25 minutes; this does include human attention as not all of the process is automated.

For example, all RoboTire can do is add and eliminate the wheels from your car; the process of mounting and dismounting tires to your rim is still carried out by a human operator, and so are things like tire pressure. So, what is it that has caused Discount Tire to invest in and recently adopt this system? It seems we may never know, but if we think about it, money is typically the answer.

For example, a human worker can be considered a liability, as many problems can arise. The two-legged beasts get sick and call in, can be hurt on the job, incurring medical coverage, which means extra costs for employers. The latter seems to be one of the deciding factors behind this system. Beyond that, government subsidies for automating the workplace are surely playing a part in this evolution.

Photo: RoboTire / YouTube Screenshot
Let's say it has nothing to do with money, and it's about helping your workers live good, clean, and happy lives, free of backbreaking work. If this is the case, sure, the RoboTire system is one we can find some validity in. But again, I've had my tires changed before, and 25 minutes is quite the long time to be sitting around; I've had this achieved in under 20 minutes before, and the entire process was completed by a living, breathing human that I felt wholesome about tipping.

So, what's really going on here? Again, it's rather difficult to understand why someone would choose such expensive equipment to replace the human laborer. But then again, I know very little about subsidies or other "E" initiatives that world governments are currently developing.

Nonetheless, if you really want to experience this system and see what the fuss is all about, according to The Robot Report, you can travel to Fountain Hills, Arizona, and find the Discount Tire store on Shea Blvd. If I can ask you to film the entire process, that would be great, but it should look much like what's happening in the video below. Sure, the future seems magical, but is it really what we all want and need? After all, the video even ends with the words, "Tires are just the beginning," and that should tell you all you need to know about what to expect in the future.

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About the author: Cristian Curmei
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A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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