NTT Communications and Tmsuk will test an RFID-driven shopping assistant robot at a shoping mall in Fukuoka. The robot reads RFID tags embedded in the floor and get information about its location (it doesn’t use GPS or other location technologies). The pilot test will take place on the 9th of February and lasts till the 15th. The robot can assist in-store shoppers as well as remote shoppers at home.
Shopper selects a destination (store) in the mall using a touch screen mounted on the robot. The robot then walk the shopper to the store, based on the location information obtained from about 5,500 RFID tags buried under the floor. When the shopper arrives at the store, the robot shows the information of the store. Some sales items in stores have individually RFID-tagged, allowing the shopper to get product information by holding a sales item near the robot’s display. Shoppers carry active tags that announce who they are, and the robot reads the information from the active tags and responds only to valid registered shoppers. In addition, shoppers can put their valuable belongings in the robots security box and the active tags are used to lock/unlock the box. Continue