• Charles

Productivity Investigation:

Updated: Apr 8, 2019

Retail Robots

Robots are helping to shape the future of retail in Singapore – Bringing Intelligence to a store nearby you! Let’s take a moment to imagine while walking into a concept retail store and being pleasantly greeted at the door by an AI Sales Assistant.  You tell your AI Sales Assistant what you are looking for and it leads you straight to the correct shelf.  You ask for price comparisons and the information is immediately conveyed to you.

When you finally decide on what you want to purchase, instead of standing in a long queue at the counter, you can make cashless payment with your AI Sales Assistant who also knows whether you have a membership with the retailer. 

All that may seem too good to be true, but it is now possible with a new robot that was launched by Singapore consumer electronics retailer Newstead Technologies and was showed cased at the resent PC Show 2017. The robot is simply called the XYZrobot is almost the height of a human that has an interactive electronic screen “eye” and another screen to display price information and other retail information.

The XYZrobot is designed and build by New Kinpo Group based in Taiwan and the robot is the first of its kind in Asia. Due to manpower shortages in the retail industry, the idea of the robot was conceived to help cope with such issue.  The robot was created using the XYZ 3D printer and New Kinpo Group which is a forerunner of Taiwan’s Electronic Industry.  The company invested $5 million to develop it.

XYZrobot is an intelligent and autonomous robot that is designed to perform a range customer service functions in a retail environment and to assist ‘Human’ sales assistants to elevate workloads.  Besides having an indoor navigation and collision prevention capabilities, the robot also features voice interaction, face detection and telepresence to enable it to engage with customers.

The robot offers data analytics capability too, which can help retailers enhance the effectiveness of their indoor promotion activities. The robot can run for about eight hours on a four-hour charge time.  It has sensors that direct it to return to its charging point as needed.

In line with Singapore government’s retail Industry Transformation Map (ITM), XYZrobot supports this initiative, which provides retailers strategies to address challenges such as driving growth through innovation and improving productivity with technology.  The ITM is important as the retail sector has a significant economic footprint in Singapore.  According to Singapore’s Department of Statistics 2015 data, the retail industry contributes to almost 1.4 percent to the republic’s GDP, with operating receipts for the industry totalling to S$35 billion. ​ The robot will make its debut in Newstead’s store at Suntec City.  It will be sold at a starting price of $12,000.

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