LG is developing robotic carts to automate shopping

This story was delivered to Business Insider Intelligence IoT Briefing subscribers hours before it appeared on Business Insider. To be the first to know, please click here.

South Korean electronics company LG is developing a smart shopping cart that will follow shoppers around in supermarkets, according to the Yonhap News Agency.

Online's Share of Total US Grocery Shopping Business Insider Intelligence

The electronics leader has formed a new partnership with E-Mart, the largest supermarket operator in South Korea, to build self-driving shopping carts that can make it easier for shoppers — particularly elderly ones — to navigate, while also potentially setting the stage for shopping automation in grocery stores.

LG’s cart will feature self-propulsion mechanisms and cameras that will provide data for routing and guidance. It will be designed primarily to follow the shopper around as they move through the store.

The robotic carts will also include barcode scanners to give pricing information, a screen that can display a shopping list, and it will be programmed with a map of where items are located within the store, which will allow it to lead shoppers to products after they enter a query into a companion smartphone app.

By developing robotic systems for grocery stores, LG is setting the stage for two ways that it can expand the role of electronics and appliance companies in omnichannel shopping and grocery delivery:

  • It’s creating new ways to integrate users into a wider LG-powered ecosystem to augment their shopping habits. It could integrate shopping lists, for instance, with voice assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant used in its various smart devices, including its smart fridges. These sorts of capabilities link the home with shopping to add value to those home devices.
  • It could also pair this cart technology with grasping arms for robots to enable automated shelf-picking for grocery delivery services. Developing such systems could help LG to integrate services and automated shopping into its smart fridges; Business Insider Intelligence discussed this model extensively in our E-commerce in the Smart Home report. Integration with shopping carts would widen the possible realm of companies that it could partner with for fridge-based grocery delivery, including traditional supermarkets along with existing online delivery services. These types of carts could fulfill orders alongside traditional shoppers and cut down expenses by not requiring separate facilities for online orders, which would give a company like LG more leverage in negotiating partnerships since it would have a larger range of potential partners.

Read more:

Leave a comment
Stay up to date
Register now to get updates on promotions and coupons.

Shopping cart

×