The future of retailing collided with the cast of Futurama, recently, when the first robot greeter was employed at the Aeon shopping centre, in Yachiyo, Japan. Hired to welcome shoppers and guide them to the store’s various departments, the ‘bot, dubbed Enon, stands 130cm high and has a video screen built into its chest.
‘I would like to make a lot of friends,’ the Enon declared the first day on the job, adding: ‘I will do my best, so all people may like me.’ An admirable sentiment, I’m sure you’ll agree.
Co-developed between Fujitsu Frontech and Fujitsu Laboratories, the futuristic metal man can detect if a person is nearby, and issues a greeting when someone stands in front of him. He can also be used to move heavy objects about the store and will act as a photo-opportunity for small children.