Innovation That Matters

Autonomous trolley

Autonomous trolley follows shoppers around store


Amid the efforts to solidify its offline distribution base, a warehouse-style supermarket chain trials an autonomous shopping cart that can avoid obstacles.

A South Korean supermarket chain E-mart has unveiled its autonomous shopping cart for test operation. Called Eli, the trolley has a variety of useful functions such as autonomous navigation, automatic payment and avoiding obstacles. The cart has been developed by Robotnik in partnership with Gaitech Robotics. It has smart sensors that react to human voices so it can follow a specific person.

Additionally, Eli can guide shoppers to specific items on their shopping list. The cart has a display screen that details the location of items within the store. The autonomous shopping cart can tell whether items in the cart have all been paid for. The company explains, “it compares weights of those that have been counted for payment with those put on the machine”. When the shopper has finished their trip, Eli automatically goes back to its charging point. Furthermore, the smart trolley can locate a car inside a car park and also search for coupons and discount codes while the customer completes their shopping.

E-mart is trialling Eli, which was showcased at the firm’s warehouse earlier this year. The company is hoping to expand their use of technology provided that it will benefit its customers and improve their overall shopping experience. The latest development by E-Mart was led by the firm’s internal digital technology research lab. Set up in December 2014, the lab has been carrying out experiments to bring augmented and virtual reality to the retail industry.

Autonomous technology is changing the way vehicles and motion devices operate. While getting behind the wheel of a car once demanded the driver’s full attention, autonomously driven cars are now a reality. There is even software that boosts autonomous driving by analysing human reaction.

Elsewhere, even the delivery sector has been implementing the technology. Driverless delivery robots are roaming the streets of Spain, delivering food and other small items. Such innovations were just in the imagination five years ago. How could autonomous devices boost your operation?




Download PDF