Panasonic tests automated checkout in Japanese convenience stores
Panasonic recently unveiled "Reji Robo" — short for register robots — an automated checkout system that scans and bags groceries, according to CNBC.
Reji Robo syncs to a computerized shopping basket with a bar code reader attached. Customers can scan merchandise to keep track of their purchases.
The shopping basket has a sliding bottom, and when placed on Reji Robo, the bottom opens. The items then gently drop into a plastic bag while the customer pays using cash or a card.
Panasonic teamed with Lawson, a convenience store chain, to test the unmanned cashier concept, which it claims can cut labor costs by 10 percent while speeding up the checkout process for customers, according to Japan's Nikkei newspaper.
The company is currently piloting the system at a Lawson outlet in Osaka, Japan, where Panasonic is based.