E-Mart testing robot concierge

South Korean discount store chain owner E-Mart Inc says it has started testing a robot to provide an automated concierge service to shoppers.

Dubbed “Pepper”, the robot concierge will be stationed at an E-Mart outlet in Seoul for about three weeks, the company says.

Developed by Japan’s Softbank Robotics Corp., the 1.2m-tall robot provides product information, introduces sale items and answers frequently asked questions, E-Mart says.

This follows E-Mart unveiling an autonomous shopping cart, Eli, for a test run at its warehouse-style supermarket Traders in Hanam, just southeast of Seoul.

This week, the company signed a memorandum of understanding with Seoul National University to carry out joint research on the implementation of auto-driving robots in the retail sector.

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