Number-one among Isaac Asimov's Laws of Robotics is "first do no harm." Or is that the doctors' oath? (shut up, Google). Nonetheless, the robots at one automated parking lot in Hoboken, New Jersey went all kerfluffle last week, trapping hundreds of cars inside the facility. Apparently it was the matter of a bureaucratic showdown. The city-owned lot had been in a contract dispute with operator Robotic Parking, during which the company's employees were asked to leave and the software license voided — reducing the all-important hardware to really expensive crap and leaving the cars trapped in their cubbies. Of course, the story gets even more complicated — pitting bureaucrat against software monkey, in what could be described as a really boring Ultimate Fighting special — but we'll let Wired handle the geeky lifting.
Giant Robot Imprisons Parked Cars [Wired]
Robot, You Can Park My Car: High-Tech Parking Systems Gain Visibility in the US [internal]