General Question

canidmajor's avatar

Jelly engineers, where are the sensors located on these supermarket robots?

Asked by canidmajor (16094points) August 6th, 2019

We have one of these ridiculous machines roaming the aisles of my Stop and Shop, and it runs into me. I am used to being invisible to lots of sensors (it is sometimes a challenge getting water from a faucet in a public restroom) but I am hoping that if I find out where the sensors are, I can get up close to deter it. Occasionally I get cornered, otherwise I go around.
And yes, I’ve asked at the store, and yes, I’ve made educated guesses, I’m hoping someone has real knowledge of these things.

It’s really annoying.

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12 Answers

chyna's avatar

WTH? What an annoying little shit with no reason to be roaming the aisles!

canidmajor's avatar

They’re really big, cost a bunch and get in everybody’s way. I hate the damned things.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Do they approach you? Do they talk to you?

You should try lying on the supermarket floor – as if it had knocked you over – and see what the manager says or does…

ragingloli's avatar

I would guess the black little gizmos that are plastered all over it.
You should plop some suction cupped floppy dildoes on them.

JLeslie's avatar

Interesting. I don’t know where the sensor is, but a lecture I attended said that robots and mics would be eventually in stores like Walmart to help with product mix. For instance, if people standing at the pop tart display complained the store didn’t have strawberry flavor, the store might add that to the assortment. I have mixed feelings about it. From a buying perspective I can see it.

Buyers don’t know they are missing sales unless someone on the floor who hears the requests from customers tells them. Some buyers don’t listen to the store staff that do tell them. A robot, if linked into the ordering system can just do it.

If done right, the customer will have a better product selection tailored for their market.

The down side to me is it’s creepy to be listened to everywhere you go.

Your link says it’s to catch spills, which is good to protect the store from liability and to keep clean surroundings.

My guess is these robots can be given lots of instructions and upgrades and this is just the beginning.

jca2's avatar

People in some local FB groups were speculating that those robots will catch thieves. I don’t steal anything so I don’t know if the robots have that capability, but it’s interesting to see if they will. I wonder, if someone went and put something in their bag or coat in front of the robot, if they would alert store security. Then again, it’s not really stealing until you leave the store.

canidmajor's avatar

Guys, guys, GENERAL QUESTION. Does anyone know where the sensors are actually located?
The general discussion of the robots would be a nice Q in Social.

JLeslie's avatar

I think @ragingloli is probably right. The sensors are most likely all over the thing just like a self driving car or Roomba vacuum.

canidmajor's avatar

So nobody actually knows. Damn. I may just take an old sheet in and cover the damned thing.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@canidmajor I looked up a bunch of articles about these things – the articles say the grocery store names, but not the name of the robot manufacturer. Next time you’re at the store, see if you can get the name of the robot builder – that can be real informative.

- added -

Looks like it is Badger Technologies

and see this for camera locations

canidmajor's avatar

@elbanditoroso, thank you, that’s exactly what I wanted to know!

LuckyGuy's avatar

@elbanditoroso has got it! GA!
It looks to me like the rotating cylinder is one of several cameras used to detect obstacles near the floor. Others on the side are scanning shelves. for empty space and other anomalies.

I can’t tell from the picture but there might be a couple of ultrasonic transducers on the smooth face like those on car bumpers.

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