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