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Have a robot hold your spot at the mall — even on Black Friday

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(NEW YORK) — The first official shopping day of the holiday season, Black Friday, is close at hand, and with it comes the headache of finding a parking spot at the mall.

Unless your local mall has MyPark robots. The devices can be deployed essentially with the swipe of an app: a couple extra bucks and the little devices spring up, blocking your spot until you arrive. When you do, the metal blocking bot folds back down, allowing you to park without fighting anybody for the same slab of pavement.

Forbes reports the breakthrough was the brainchild of Ricardo Blanco, a construction company owner who was sick and tired of people swiping his reserved spot. Eventually, app technology made his dream into a reality, and his company now has deals with Simon Property Group, the largest mall operator in the U.S., as well as Westfield, another big name in the business.

Parking space rental rates range between $1 and $3 for the first two hours with additional charges per hour thereafter, the magazine notes.

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