The self-checkout just got a bagging upgrade. In Osaka Prefecture, Japan, Panasonic has teamed up with Lawson convenience store chain to trial a robotic checkout that does the bagging for you, Japan Times reports.
The system is called Reji Robo (short for Register Robots), and debuted on Monday, December 12. Customers are given a basket equipped with sensors that detect their items. When they reach the checkout, they place the basket in a holder. The good are tallied by the checkout, the customer pays, and the bottom slides out of the basket to place the items in a bag, which the customer can then collect.
Panasonic and Lawson join Amazon in seeking a more automated shopping experience. In Amazon's case, however, the system currently being trialled in Seattle does away with the checkout entirely.
Panasonic's system may eventually do the same. "If demand is strong enough, we are hoping to come up with ways in which customers will get their purchases settled by just passing through the register," Lawson president Sadanobu Takemasu said.
Panasonic did not immediately reply to a request for more information.