Hit the malls remotely via telerobotic shopper and cellphone in Japan
While the rest of the world settles for the Internet and web sites like eBay, Japan thinks it should fulfill the futuristic legacy of sci-fi and anime by continuing to build robots that will somehow help mankind. The latest to come out of robot developer tmsuk’s labs is a telerobotic shopper, which lets you shop in malls from the comfort of your own home by using NTT DoCoMo’s cellphone technology.
The telerobotic shopper demo was performed at Izutuya department store in Kitakyushu, Japan, where a caring granddaughter took care of her sick grandmother’s shopping fix. The girl and the robot took to each other’s side, examined the hats on display, and eventually picked one to purchase and take home to the grandmother.
Apparently, the telerobotic shopper is some kind of robot wielding a cameraphone that does video calls with you so you can see what the robot sees. How this is better than just letting a friend go to the mall with a regular cameraphone and doing a video call with you, I don’t really know. But I’m sure tmsuk is going to work hard enough on it anyway to try and make it as mainstream as soon as humanly possible.