A new retail robot that resembles Johnny 5 is hoping to turn some heads at CES 2017 (January 5-8) in Las Vegas. Hease Robotics is introducing its Hease retail robot that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to provide guidance, deliver simple and complex information, offer coupons and deals, and retrieve data.
Based on the graphic below, Hease has built-in telepresence, a 19-inch touchscreen, a barcode scanner, an NFC reader and wheels to move it around.
Hease the retail robot will be at CES in Eureka Park, an area dedicated to startups, in Hall G, Booth #50843 at the Sands Expo Center. Here’s our list of the Top 10 Robotics Startups at CES 2016.
“I am fully convinced that the next killer application in service robotics will be an interactive robot, especially for the retail and hospitality industries,” says Hease Robotics CEO and co-founder Max Vallet. “Robots are still very simple. Their greatest achievements in the consumer marketplace involve vacuuming or dancing. People want more, however; and by creating our products with the travel, hospitality and retail industries firmly in mind, we will help a broad spectrum of establishments improve, expand and enhance both their customer service and their ability to deliver efficiency and productivity to their clients.”
Photos: Meet Hease the Retail Robot
Hease says it doesn’t have a set launch date yet, but it hopes the retail robot will be available for purchase in Q3 2017. Hease will be available to a network of partners, service robotics distributors and retailers.
Hease, of course, has some serious competition in the retail robot space. Softbank’s Pepper humanoid robot just landed a holiday job at two California shopping centers where it will help customers over the next couple months. Lowe’s has been developing its OSHbot customer service robot that speaks multiple languages and helps shoppers find items. Best Buy has tested Chloe, a robot that retrieves products that customers request from a kiosk, and Target is testing the Tally robot that travels through aisles and takes inventory.
Hease retail robot. (Credit: Hease Robotics)
So while robots are increasingly helping in-store customers, the next logical step is for robots to actually deliver products to people’s homes. Delivery robots is one of the topics at the CES Robotics Conference, which is produced by Robotics Trends. The “Delivery Robots Knocking at Your Door” session brings together leaders in the space – CyPhy Works, Savioke, Starship Technologies – to discuss developments in delivery robotics, the need for continued testing, and how to overcome regulatory and technical challenges.