"Hello, I'm NAVii. How can I help you?" This is how the store associate of the future may greet you.
Starting in the fall, Lowe's shoppers in the San Francisco Bay Area will be greeted by autonomous robots. The LoweBot speaks multiple languages, and will be deployed to 11 stores to help guide home improvers to find items in store.
"This is a response to things people wanted since retail began, but up until now there just wasn't the technology to be able to make that happen," said Kyle Nel, executive director of Lowe's Innovation Labs.
The robots, made by Fellow Robots, use a 3-D scanner to detect people as they into stores. Shoppers can search for items by asking the bot what they want or typing items into a touch screen. The bot can guide them to those items using smart laser sensors, similar to the technology used in autonomous vehicles, said Marco Mascorro, chief executive officer of Fellow Robots.
As customers follow the bots to find items on store shelves, location-based special offers show up on a second screen on the back of the LoweBot.