Executive Briefings

Customer Service at Lowe's? Robots That Roam the Aisles.

The robots are coming. Lowe's is testing whether new "bots on wheels" can improve its customer service, like helping a shopper find a match for something as simple as a nail. Four robots are being tested an Orchard Supply Hardware store owned by Lowe's Companies Inc. in San Jose, Calif.

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 their screen. Then the robot can lead them to the aisle where an item is located.

"They're based on making a science fiction story a reality," said Kyle Nel, executive director of Lowe's Innovation Lab.

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.

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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 their screen. Then the robot can lead them to the aisle where an item is located.

"They're based on making a science fiction story a reality," said Kyle Nel, executive director of Lowe's Innovation Lab.

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.

Read Full Article