The company is preparing to introduce a 5-foot-tall NAVii machine in its stores in California.Technological advancements continue to disrupt entire industries, and dozens of formerly stable occupations have become a distant memory of a somewhat simpler - but less efficient - time. The retail industry has not been immune to these disruptions, and numerous companies are stepping up their reliance on artificial intelligence as a means to take care of repetitive tasks in the warehousing and transport process, and AI is even making its way to the sales floor. According to ZDNet is about to join the growing list of retailers that employs a customer-friendly robot that can also help out with logistics.
The company is preparing to introduce LoweBot, a 5-foot-tall NAVii machine in 11 of its stores in California over the next few months. LoweBot can maneuver its way through the aisles while avoiding obstacles, greet customers and even guide them and accompany them to the correct location in the store to find what they’re looking for. Silicon Valley technology firm Fellow Robots partnered up with Lowe’s to develop LoweBot.
“We develop technology that is scalable, which is the number one pain point for bringing new technology into the retail channel. Our robotic and software platform is robust enough to manage the complex and large inventory that these retailers have, and we work closely with our partners to understand their use case to tailor our offering,” Fellow Robots CEO and co-founder Marco Mascorro told ZDNet.
While skeptics will point to it as being a publicity stunt to draw in customers, the complex machines bring a lot to the table. Think self-service kiosks on steroids, and with the ability to move around and interact with the public to boot. LoweBot can engage customers through speech recognition, use a 3D scanner for human body frame detection, and display detailed product information right on its screen.
“Our goal is to solve the biggest challenges our clients face, like checking inventory and customer service, while also having the ability to react and make quick iterations to our system to fulfill the unique needs of our partners,” Mascorro continued.
LoweBot comes in handy in the back of the store as well, as it can scan inventory, and even memorize inventory details. Other retailers that have recently used robots within its stores include Target and Best Buy, and we can be fairly certain we haven’t even scratched the surface on this trend.