And if wearing a grocery bag or pushing a cart were gestures to disappear? Franprix, teaches the Casino group, is testing for a week and for six months two robots delivery men in one of its shops in the 13th arrondissement of Paris. Their mission is to carry the shopping of the customers in the store, but also up to their home.
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More specifically, this robot has been designed to assist the elderly or those with disabilities that prevent them from realizing their purchases in an autonomous way. These individuals can run errands and "regain a social life in the neighborhood," says Vincent Heel, co-founder of TwinswHeel, the start-up that developed these machines.
Between the "code name "TH03" or "Fast Courier", which means "swift steed" in English, the manufacturers have not decided on the final name of the product, preferring to leave it to companies wishing to provide care to baptize themselves these small machines all rounder .
Small but mighty
Installed on two wheels, the robot is able to wear in the autonomy of loads from 40 kg to 6 km/h, permitted speed for devices of this size. For customers, this small electric robot that does not measure more than 70 cm wide and 80 cm in height provides a comfortable non-negligible. However, an employee is required to accompany the machine and thus the client - to-the-home in order to ensure the return trip. In effect, the act prohibits, for the moment let it ride a car in complete autonomy on public roads.
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Three modes of operation exist for this robot: the remote control, the autonomy and the "follow me". The first two are not allowed, it is the third which is currently in phase of experimentation: with an artificial intelligence, the machine identifies the customer using its sensors and cameras, and then the steps in any addiction. "The robot becomes like a slave following his master and carrying his business", explains Vincent Heel. Electric, TH03 has an average battery life of eight hours for a recharge time of two hours. Depending on the weight to carry, it can cover 15 to 20 kilometres.Simple prototype for the moment
Developed over five years by TwinswHeel, the two robots are available free of charge in the store for a period of six months. Then, if the tests are conclusive and Franprix wishes to extend the concept to other of its stores, a production line will be launched to meet the demand. Until now, the start-up did not produce robots for factory or warehouse. The arrival in a store is "a first in France, even in Europe, if not in the world", according to Vincent Heel.
If they are not currently present in the store for two to three days per week, the robots will be all of the days in the months of June and July. Regarding prototypes, they can always be reported in their developer for technical reasons, but the co-founder of TwinswHeel wants to be reassuring: "at the slightest problem, the robot stops to take no risk."Updated Date: 25 April 2019, 00:00