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Thursday, March 9, 2017

Robot Store Clerk In Japan

I actually used the far-cooler headline below for work:

I, Robot - 0, Store Clerk

In this case, I used possible confusion from the letter I and the Roman Numeral for One for a witty bon mot! It 'tis to laugh.

For those of you hoping your child might one day enter the exciting and challenging world of retail convenience, think again... automated robotic checkout clerks have recently completed the first round of tests at a Lawson convenience store in Moriguchi, Osaka.

Retail 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.

And... it seems like it's a success.

Supported by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Lawson and Panasonic also conducted the experimental demonstration using RFIDs (Radio Frequency IDentification electronic tags) in February 2017 - to test speedier checkouts to enhance customer convenience.

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 Robo-Regi and Smart Basket robotic retail clerk in action:

The only issue I can find with this is that it will ultimately cost jobs.

yes, it might mean an up-tick in job creation in the brainier aspects of the Japanese robotics industry, but it will mean a real down-tick in the clerking industry... which will affect job prospects for many more people in Japan—despite the global impression that all Japanese are super-geniuses.

They're not. As such, employment rates in Japan—already a hot-button topic—will suffer.

Smart robotics people will always find a job.

Andrew Joseph


  1. Despite that technology in Japan is always advancing, I do understand that the unemployment rate will have a hard time.

    1. I agree, Justin... what are you supposed to do? Not promote the advancement of technology? Of course not.

  2. Sooo the higher unemployment rate is in a country actually means that the country is like super advanced. Maybe the governement or a start up company will start building "stores" where it's all based on donations from people so people can still work and have some sense of usefulness.

    1. And maybe they'll be that way here in Canada... so the rest of us can feel some sort of usefulness. I'm waiting...

  3. I mean if robots are doing all of our mundane work than something is gonna have to give. Yes we went through this before like the robots in the manufacturing sector and stuff the planet was also less populated. Increasingly there's less jobs but more and more people. It I'll be interesting to see what the world will be like when we are in our 70s, 80's, 90's, 100's or 200's. Because people are gonna keep living longer.