Automatic Grocery Checkout System
March 10, 2017
Lawson, Inc. and Panasonic Corporation, conducted a demonstration of Regi-Robo(R), an experimental robotic grocery checkout system.
They are calling it a robotic system, but there really isn't any robot. There are some cool new ideas though. When a Smart Basket(R) is placed at the checkout, the bottom of the basket drops out and the items (eggs???) fall in to a waiting bag and are scanned. The bag automatically raises once you pay.
The system uses RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags attached to the products to gather all the information it needs. RFID tags are tags or labels that contain information about the product, like a bar code, but RFID technology uses radio waves instead of a bar code scanner. The obvious advantage to this, is that an RFID scanner does not need to 'see' the label, which is how all the products can be tossed in a bag and still be individually scanned.
For a system like this to be cost effective, the RFID labels would need to be put on by the manufacturers. This could raise costs for producers, but it might be necessary to compete with an RFID tagged product on the shelf next to it. Which would a consumer be more likely to choose?
RFID tags could do a lot more than help shoppers check out. They could help you find an item in the store, provide nutritional information, help keep items on shelves, keep items fresh, improve food traceability, and more.
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