The future has arrived. Robots are helping customers shop, and we’re not talking about smartphones. In late November, Lowe’s will introduce its robotic shopping assistant to a California Orchard Supply Hardware store. The 5-foot tall OSHbot is bilingual, can display in-store specials, allows for video conferencing with a store expert and will greet and assist customers as they enter the store.
According to The Wall Street Journal, “As customers follow OSHbot to the correct aisle, they will see ads for in-store specials on its back screen as they pass various departments, communicated through in-store beacons. Customers who need help with, say, a specific type of plumbing project can initiate a video conference on OSHbot’s front screen with available experts at any Orchard store.” In the future, the robot may even create the part with a 3-D printer.
At first, there with be two OSHbots present in the San Jose store, but more robots may be introduced later. The exact cost of the robot was not disclosed, but as this technology becomes more affordable, the robot assistant may be making its way into retail stores and restaurants worldwide.
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