Next Time You Get Your Audi Repaired, The Job Might Be Done By A Robot
There's a strange sight cropping up at Audi dealerships across the world. The Volkswagen Subsidiary is currently experimenting with the notion of using telepresence robots to assist on-site mechanics with their repair jobs. These robots will be remotely controlled by trained technicians, and will allow a number of dealers to tap into expertise that might otherwise be unavailable to them.
Currently, the Audi Robotic Telepresence droid is being used at eighteen dealerships. The plan is to eventually introduce the robot to over a hundred different shops. What this means, ultimately, is that Audi's going to have a robot or two at every single location in the United States. Not bad, right?
Now, it's worth mentioning that the ART isn't going to be doing any physical labor quite yet- currently, it doesn't even have arms. Comprised of a remote-controlled stand, several cameras, a microphone, and speakers, ART will be remotely-operated by Audi Technical Assistance Consultants and Technical Field Managers, who will talk back-and-forth with mechanics about vehicle service, helping them to remotely diagnose problems. There's even a handheld camera and borescope to allow the robot to reach into tiny crevices.
At the moment, ART is designed to provide better, more efficient connectivity between dealerships and technicians, leading to faster and more efficient service for customers. In the future, who knows? We might well start seeing ART droids equipped with the tools necessary to perform the repairs themselves. After all, if a robot can perform surgery in space, why can't it operate on a faulty automobile, too?
Plus, I mean...robots are generally pretty involved in the vehicular construction process. It wouldn't really be much of a stretch to have them perform repairs, too. That's something for the future. For now, we'll just have to content ourselves with watching telepresence bots dodder around.
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