Unmanned depot

11 April 2008

German Entrepreneur Reiner Gradwohl has developed an unmanned, automatic rental cabin that can be used by rental companies and contractors to access tools and small equipment.

The Mietstation cabins 29 of which are currently being rented in Germany by companies including Wacker, Hotchief (Streif Baulogistik), Hilti and Wurth can be accessed by a pre-registered customer using his credit card, trade card or special transponder identification tag.

Mr Gradwohl told CE that up to six cabins can be linked together, and that they can provide a wide variety of options. Contractors can store their equipment in the cabins, rental companies can rent equipment from them, architects can hold drawing securely and you can rent larger equipment, with the keys held safely in the cabin.

Inside the box, a customer can ring the rental company if the item he wants is missing, and there is a camera to record transactions. A loudspeaker system also allows a rental company to talk directly to a customer in the cabin.

Mr Gradwohl, who developed the system seven years ago and has 18 years experience in the rental business with Comrent and Liebherr Mietpartner, says that fingerprint recognition is the next step.

The cabins are standard container size and are built for a life of at least 10 years, he says. The purchase price for a rental company is around € 40000, or you can rent one for 1600 per month.

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