Do you visit the Lowe’s big-box hardware stores? If so you may one day run into a 5 foot tall OSHbot. Presently, OSHbot can only be found in Orchard Supply Hardware (with is owned by Lowe’s) in San Jose, California. OSHbot was developed by Lowe’s Innovation Labs.
The robot greets customers and asks if it can assist them in finding something. Using a combination of voice processing and the on-board display, the robot determines what the customer is looking for, shows them a map to where it can be found in the store, then will offer to lead the customer to it.
The robot contains obstacle avoidance software so that it can easily navigate through the store aisles. To be able to interface with a growing multilingual population, the robots can interface with customers in many languages -including English, Spanish, and five Asian languages. The robots assist with inventory and can provide inside into trends.
Certainly this robot lends itself to being used in many retail establishments. How soon will it be before we see an OSHbot, or similar autonomous robot, in the large retail stores we shop in?