WATCH: Robot-powered bagging system tested in Japan

A different kind of robot is getting tested in Japan to help customers in checking out items from a popular convenience store. The technology is expected to make transactions easier and more convenient.

The system is dubbed Reji Robo (registration robots), the product of a partnership between convenience store chain Lawson and Panasonic Corp. Apart from helping to settle transactions, it will even pack items for customers, reports The Japan Times.

At checkout, customers place the sensor-equipped shopping basket on a designated area of the cashier table. They can then proceed to swipe products through a bar code reader and return them to the basket. Once payment is completed, the basket slides down and deposits the items into a shopping bag.

“If demand is strong enough, we are hoping to come up with ways in which customers will get their purchases settled by just passing through the register,” says Lawson president Sadanobu Takemasu to Kyodo News.

It looks like Amazon is not the only company looking into staff-less shopping, although the Japanese side appears to be inspired more by the lack of available staff. Alfred Bayle

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