Shopping malls can be pretty overwhelming. Most of them have adopted little “you are here”-type maps to help provide some prospective on where you are located within their twisting corridors. If that isn’t enough for your liquid mind, the Osaka-based Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute has unveiled a crowd-monitoring bot which can scope out lost souls and guide your way to consumerist heaven.
Robovie was recently tested at Universal Citywalk Osaka shopping center, where using its 16 cameras, 6 laser range finders and the 9 RFID tag readers installed in the vicinity, the little helper was able to pick out disoriented shoppers from the crowd, asking them “Are you lost?”. If they weren’t lost, he acted as a walking advertisement, recommending shops and restaurants to the shopper. I can see this getting old fast if you’re one of those people who always looks lost. — Andrew Dobrow