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FamilyMart set to test robotic c-store staff

Telexistence’s shelf-stacking avatar robot, designed to resemble a kangaroo. Reuters/Issei Kato
FamilyMart will this month deploy a robot which vaguely resembles a kangaroo to stack sandwiches, drinks and ready meals on shelves at a Japanese convenience store. The robot’s maker, Telexistence, hopes the trial will help trigger a wave of retail automation. Following the trial, FamilyMart says it plans to use robot workers at 20 stores around Tokyo by 2022. At first, people will operate them remotely – until the machines’ artificial intelligence (AI) can learn to mimic human