Lowe’s to Test OSHbot Shopping Assistant Robots, Later Versions May Integrate 3D Printers

Share this Article

osh4Remember back a decade or two ago, reading a science fiction novel, or even a magazine like Popular Science, which envisioned a time, in the not too distant future, where robots would be everywhere? Robots to walk your dog, robots to clean your house, and even talking robots which can replace customer service representatives within a store. Well, that vision has just gotten quite a bit closer to reality.

Today Lowe’s announced that they will begin testing OSHbot robots in one of their Orchard Supply Hardware stores located in San Jose, California. The testing, which will begin as early as next month, will look at the various responses by customers as these 5-foot-tall mobile talking robots patrol the aisles.

OSHBot

OSHbot

These robots will act as shopping assistants. If a customer can’t find a product, they can simply start a dialogue (in multiple languages) with one of these machines, and it will take them over to that product. To further the utility of these robots, they will also be equipped with sophisticated 3D scanners which can be used in a variety of ways, such as matching a certain screw, nail, or hinge needed by a customer. Additionally, once it is scanned the robots can immediately determine if aosh2 needed product is in stock.

The project, a collaboration between Lowe’s and startup Fellow Robots, aims to bring convenience to the shopping experience. Over the last several years, ‘big-box’ stores like Lowe’s have seen stiff competition emerge from such sources as Amazon.com and shoppers’ access to smartphones allowing for quick price comparison which may lead them to purchase their products in lower-priced nearby stores or online.

“Instead of seeming ultra-convenient, the big-box experience starts to look like it has a lot of friction,” Doug Stephens, founder of advisory firm Retail Prophet, told the Wall Street Journal. “If robots are a means of alleviating some of that friction, I’d expect to see a lot more robots.”

Marco Mascorro, CEO of Fellow Robots, left, and Kyle Nel, executive director of Lowe’s Innovation Labs

Marco Mascorro, CEO of Fellow Robots, left, and Kyle Nel, executive director of Lowe’s Innovation Labs

Future renditions of these robots could get quite a bit more sophisticated, according to the CEO of Fellow Robots, Marco Mascorro. He believes that OSHbot soon may be able to 3D print certain smaller scanned parts via an integrated 3D printer on board.

Imagine walking into a Lowe’s store, beginning a dialogue with a robot, asking if a certain bracket you need is in stock. You then could hand the bracket you need replaced to the robot which will then scan it, determine if the part is in stock, and if not, 3D print that bracket for you. This is where we are headed, whether we like it or not.

“We believed that in the near future — in the next 5 years, 10 years — someone was going to come out with a retail operational robot and that was going to change retail,” said Kyle Nel, executive director of Lowe’s Innovation Lab. “So we figured, why don’t we do it?”

It will be interesting to see how these initial tests go next month. If a success, there is no telling how quickly these machines may make their way into many more Lowe’s owned stores. Let’s hear your thoughts on this interesting move by Lowe’s in the OSHbot forum thread on 3DPB.com.  Check out a video showing OSHbot below:

Share this Article


Recent News

3D Printing & More in Fabrication, Materials, Applications for Liquid Metal Antennas

Zhejiang University Sheds Light on APVC with 3D Printed Surgical Models



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

Chinese University of Hong Kong Studies 3D Printing for Heart Disease

In the recently published ‘Three-dimensional printing in structural heart disease and intervention,’ authors Yiting Fan, Randolph H.L. Wong, and Alex Pui-Wai Lee, all from The Chinese University of Hong Kong,...

VA Puget Sound Initiative: Advancing 3D Printing for Heart Disease

For over one hundred years, treating heart disease meant opening the patient’s chest to access the heart through open-heart surgery. The procedure usually takes between three to six hours and...

China: Improving Cell Viability by Refining Structural Design in Scaffolds

Chinese researchers are seeking new ways to create stronger cell growth and sustainability in scaffolds. With their findings outlined in the recently published, ‘Structure-induced cell growth by 3D printing of...

Scientists Use 3D Printed Models to Further Congenital Heart Disease Studies

In the recently published ‘Accurate Congenital Heart Disease Model Generation for 3D Printing,’ researchers explore 3D printing for diagnosis, treatment, and planning in congenital heart disease (CHD) patients. CHD usually...


Shop

View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.


Services & Data

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our 3DPrint.com.

You have Successfully Subscribed!