“Reji Robo”, an invention by Panasonic and Lawson is a new automated checkout system that bags and scans groceries. The ‘register robots’ was first revealed on December 12th by Panasonic.
Reiji Robo syncs to an electronic shopping basket that has a bar code reader attached. Customers scan their merchandise to keep track of their purchases. The basket has a bottom that slides out so when the placed on Reji Robo the bottom opens and the items drop into a plastic bag while customers pay using card or cash.
Panasonic had collaborated with convenience store chain Lawson to test the concept out, which may cut labor costs speed up the checkout process for customers. The Reji Robo system is being tested at a Lawson outlet in Osaka, Japan, also where Panasonic is headquartered. Although shoppers have to manually scan items, Panasonic plans to fit an electronic tag in each item to eliminate the scanning. If Reji Robo proves itself as a fruitful investment, Panasonic plans to introduce the system in over 20 stores within the next fiscal year and nationwide by 2018.
Panasonic is competing with Amazon, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) as the company had revealed its new retail concept of Amazon Go, where customers can grab food off of shelves and leave the store without having to scan items and check out. Amazon users are the only ones that may use this service.