Christmas is near, and what would you expect during this holiday season? Shopping, and more shopping. Knowing this, Suburban complexes in Sydney and Melbourne owned by property developer Stockland just employed new (non human) shopping assistants to help the public with their Christmas shopping.
The assistant is 100-kilo, 1.7 meter tall humanoid robot called Chip. Chip has myriad cameras, lasers, ultrasound scanners, microphones and speakers installed, this enables the robots to have conversations, answer questions and also helps with face recognition. Additionally, the robot features a 12.1-inch touchscreen on its chest, this helps to either direct shoppers to stores that have sales, or show them the way to a particular shop, and guess what? The robots also have the ability to carry shopping bags to the car.
The robots were developed by Spanish company PAL Robotics and are owned by the Commonwealth Bank. Stockland is the first company to use robotics in its shopping complexes in Australia, and the Merrylands centre in Western Sydney is the first to test the robot-human interaction.
Robotics are now used to make work easier and faster, it has been predicted that the global robotics market will be worth AU$181 billion (US$135 billion) by 2019.
Chip is a humanoid robot owned by the bank and the only one of its kind in the southern hemisphere. According to Kelly Bayer Rosmarin, group executive institutional banking and markets at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, “The development of robotics and artificial intelligence will affect all of us in the future.
We have invested in Chip and this academic partnership to ensure Australia remains at the forefront of knowledge and thought leadership when it comes to disruptive technologies like artificial intelligence and social robotics.
Also, according to Mark Steinert, managing director and CEO, Stockland said the property group was interested in how robotics could be used in its business parks and logistics centers, shopping centers as well as its residential and retirement living communities.
Students from five leading Australian technology universities have also been granted access to the social robotics technology in Chip, and have been given the opportunity to run experiments and conduct research. They are drawn from academic backgrounds including robotics and artificial intelligence, data analytics, IT and engineering, business and law. They have worked with recognized organisations like NASA and IBM, winning multiple awards in Australia and overseas.
The Commonwealth Bank of Australia was Founded in 1911 by the Australian government. It is an Australian multinational bank with businesses across New Zealand, Fiji, Asia, USA and the United Kingdom. Commonly referred to as the Commonwealth Bank (or CBA or Commbank), it provides a variety of financial services including retail, business and institutional banking, funds management, superannuation, insurance, investment and broking services. The Commonwealth Bank is the largest Australian listed company on the Australian Securities Exchange as of August 2015 with brands including Bankwest, Colonial First State Investments Limited, ASB Bank (New Zealand), Commonwealth Securities Limited (CommSec) and Commonwealth Insurance Limited (CommInsure). Commonwealth Bank is also the largest bank in the Southern Hemisphere.