PLYMOUTH, Mich. — In a warehouse and production facility in Plymouth, Mich., Will Mapes, chief operating officer of RoboTire, stands in front of a black SUV holding up a smartphone.
RoboTire's tire-changing robot can change four tires in 20 minutes or less. It starts with a technician opening an app, answering a series of prompts and entering vehicle data.
Then, the magic starts.
The black Nissan Rogue — owned by Founder and CEO Victor Darolfi — is driven onto a platform. Large display screens indicate when the vehicle is in the correct position and keep technicians appraised of the robot's progress during the tire change. RoboTire's twin robotic arms whir at each wheel — removing lug nuts, picking up the wheel assembly for mounting and balancing — using sophisticated imaging and other technology to ensure precision. When the new tire has been balanced and is ready for mounting, the robot does the same operation in reverse.