The Japanese trading chain Lawson is known for its experiments and innovations. Now they are unveiling a checkout robot, which scans and packs groceries on its own. After the launch of Amazon Go, the Rejirobo is the next big development for retail in a short time.
As early as 2009, Lawson started to offer charging stations for electric vehicles in its car parks, which is likely conncected to Mitsubishi’s participation in the company. Now the company is again experimenting, this time with self-service kits. Now, their new invention: cash registers that scan and pack on their own.
Together with Panasonic, Lawson has developed the Rejirobo. “Reji” means “cash register.” To be able to use Rejirobo, the customer must use a shopping basket with an integrated scanner. In this way, he simply scans every product he places in the shopping basket.
Rejirobo: From February 2017 also with RFID chip
At checkout, the customer places the shopping cart in the appropriate device. After the payment process via touch-screen, the basket folds downwards and the products slide into a shopping bag. Whether this brings a really significant speed advantage at the cash register in the end, may be doubted – at least as the system is currently working. Also, it is important to consider the decrease in employment the robot might cause., as the magazine Asiaspiegel.ch reports.
Starting in February, Lawson is also taking a very sensible step in the project: according to the press release from Panasonic (here Google-Translate), RFID chips will be put directly on the products to allow Rejirobo to also take over the scanning process. This would make it harder to override the system. The system is to start running in 2018 in the majority of Lawson stores.
The Rejirobo of Lawson and Panasonic is not quite as stylish as Amazon Go, where there are no cash registers. But the project shows quite well how technological developments will continue to change the retail sector.