I, Robot – 0, Store Clerk
New automated retail checkout system from Panasonic uses robotics, RFID and zero human help.
March 8, 2017
by Canadian Packaging staff
OSAKA, JAPAN—Retail convenience store chain Lawson, Inc. and Panasonic Corporation conducted the industry-first experimental demonstration of Regi-Robo, an entirely automated checkout system from December 12, 2016 to February 20, 2017.
The experiment was conducted at the Lawson Panasonic-Mae store in Moriguchi, Osaka, Japan, an experimental store of the next-generation convenience store with the support of Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
Lawson and Panasonic also conducted the experimental demonstration using RFIDs (electronic tags) in February 2017 – to test speedier checkouts to enhance customer convenience.
Lawson is promoting a revolution in productivity to increase the efficiency of the convenience store operations in which complexity is growing.
With the Regi-robo system, customers picked up items and scanned the item’s barcode, and then put the items into the specially-designed basket: Smart Basket.
When customers then placed the Smart Basket into the dedicated checkout counter, the system automatically settled the transaction and placed the purchased items into a plastic bag. As store staff did not need to scan products for registration or packing, the new system contributed to labor-savings in store operations.
To further improve customers’ convenience and the productivity of operations, Lawson and Panasonic attached RFIDs, electronic tags to products, instead of barcodes, which enabled the communication information and eliminated the need of product scanning.
Watch the YouTube video below to see Panasonic’s robotic retail clerk in action: