OSHBots – Coming to a store near you
Lowe’s hardware is testing whether automated robots on wheels can improve its customer service. The goal is that the experimental robots can help shoppers find a match for something as simple such as a bolt or a screw.
Currently, four of these are being testing by Lowe’s in southern California.
The robots dubbed “OSHBots” look like white columns with two large black screens on either side of them, and wheels to help them move. They are equipped with 3D cameras so they can scan and identify items. And customers can research items they want to buy on using the OSHBots screen. Later, the robot can lead them to the aisle where an item is located.
The robots also have a database of what inventory is in stock at the store, so they can let customers know if something is out of stock or not without having to involve a clerk.
as usage example of this is when someone comes in with a random screw and says, “I need more of these”, and if the item is in the store, they OSHBots can find it.. The Lowe’s OSHBots are currently programmed to speak and understand both English and Spanish.
Lowe’s started working with Fellow Robots, a technology company based in Silicon Valley, this November to help further develop the robots. The cost of the project is undisclosed.
Lowe’s has also been working on infusing more technology into its customer service. It has also developed a “holoroom” that can let users see what different pieces of furniture look like in different rooms in a virtual-reality environment.
Depending on the success of this project, OSHbots could become a standard customer service tool for many stores.