6 ways robots are replacing cashiers and couriers

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Self-checkout was only the beginning. In today’s high-tech, mobile-driven world, there’s a heightened demand for making purchases quickly and seamlessly. And it’s a demand that no human could possibly meet.

This creates an opportunity for robotics. Whether they are taking orders in a restaurant, handling payments or delivering packages, these autonomous machines come in all shapes and sizes — some can even fly.

This item is compiled from reporting by PaymentsSource writers including John Adams, Kate Fitzgerald, David Heun and Michael Moeser. Click the links in each item to read more.


A robot that takes payments, delivers pizza

The friendliest face of robot-based payment acceptance and order delivery might be Pepper, the humanoid robot developed by SoftBank.

Pepper has been marketed for a variety of use cases, such as accepting Masterpass payments at Pizza Hut locations in Asia in 2016. Pepper’s motion sensors allow it to move around a crowded room without bumping into people or things. Its ‘humanlike’ voice and its perception of humans are designed to bridge the conversational gap that is typical between humans and machines.

More recently, Pepper has made its way into the bank branch at HSBC, where it handles customer service tasks and provides basic information such as weather reports.

But why not payments? In the U.S., security is a bigger issue, SoftBank says.

“We’ve explored [payments] a few times. I’ve seen Peppers with chip readers attached to the tablet. It’s perfectly capable of it,” said Daniel Schofield, a solutions engineer for SoftBank. “We want the most secure Pepper that we can have, so just to keep it compliant, we’re not exploring [payments] until the next model.”


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