Re: ECON: Robots Replace Check-Out Clerks

Date: Fri Jan 11 2002 - 11:43:10 MST

JR forwards:
> Optimal Robotics sells more U-Scans
> MONTREAL - Optimal Robotics Corp. has sold another 500 U-Scan self-checkout
> systems to U.S. grocery giant Kroger Co., further establishing the technology
> as the retail industry's next widely adopted innovation.

These are not, as the subject line implies, robotic systems. They are
simply self-service scanning stations. The customer does the scanning
instead of the checkout clerk. There is a supervisor who watches people
to make sure they aren't slipping anything past the scanner.

They've got one of these at the local K-Mart. I was surprised how hard it
is to scan things. I remember when checkout scanners were first installed
at supermarkets and such, the clerks had a lot of trouble making them
work, turning products every which way and waving them back and forth over
the scanners in frustration. Well, I found myself doing the same thing.
It takes practice to hold the product in the correct orientation so that
the scanning goes as smoothly as when the professionals do it.


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