• VR remote controlled robots to assist at convenience stores in Japan

    Date:3 July 2020 Author: Aimee Pace

    Soon visitors at popular convenience stores in Japan will be welcomed by robots in place of employees as a way of reducing operation costs and increasing efficiency.

    While the robots will be put in place of employees they won’t be replacing them altogether. With the help of new technology, employees will be able to remote control the robots using VR to see from their perspective.

    Convenience store chain Family Mart is bringing the public this unique experience in partnership with Telexistence, a Tokyo-based robotics firm.

    The two companies have come together to develop ways to better the service and reduce costs through robotics used in-store.

    Removing the employee factor completely is not something the companies are trying to achieve, however, instead they are aiming to create a store that operates in much the same way a vending machine does, with products being automatically replaced once they are taken.

    This idea revolves around human beings controlling robots from separate locations using VR gear.

    With the successful implementation of this new system, employees would be allowed more work flexibility and an alternative option would be available for stores that are unable to find local staff.

    The first of the many installations is scheduled to kick off during the Japanese summer in a number of store locations in Tokyo. By 2022, the companies hope to roll the service out at 20 branches.

    Picture: Telexistence

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