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Overview | Statistics| Robovie-II in Pictures

Robovie-II is in essence, a robot child designed to carry your shopping basket around in the supermarket. Althoughg it sounds bizzarre and very 18th century, that is the basics of the concept. Currently being tested at the Apita-Seikadai supermarket in Kyoto, Japan, Robovie-II's trial ends at the end of March 2010.

Designed by Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International, the robot's child stature was decided upon in an attempt to make it seem less threatening to the general public who will make use of it.

In addition to carrying a basket, the robot helps them remember what is on their list, and guides them to the location of each item. In short, it does everything you would expect of a helpful member of staff. The difference being, the robot stays with each shopper until they leave the supermarket.

At any point before entering the store, the shopper inputs their list of items into a robot interface online. This can be done via PC, kiosk, or smartphone. However, a smartphone ID is required, alog with the list. This is because, the robot will detect when that smartphone crosses the threshold of the supermarket, and use it to identify that customer. Thus, inputting the original list from the phone is often the best course of action. The robot then greets the shopper by name (again taken from records of the phone) and says "Let's go shopping," proceeding to follow them through the store, helping them find the items on the list, and carrying the goods in a shopping basket.

As they travel through the supermarket the robot reminds the shopper of items on the list, and makes recommendations and suggestions of other items that would go well with items on the list, encouraging additional purchases.

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