Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Shopping Bot

Researchers at Utah State University have developed a shopping robot to assist the blind and visually-impaired in shopping in grocery stores and malls. The system uses a combination of RFID and barcode scanners to monitors it location and direct the shopper to the shopper's desired items. Currently it only has a Braille interface, but the researchers intend to outfit it with a text-to-speech system soon. The cost of the prototype is about $15k, but the researchers hope to cut that to about $5k once the robot enters production.

The research team has also produced prototype robotic guide dogs.