Robots Deployed To Help Black Friday Shoppers Deal With The Insanity | Tech | Geek.com

No, not by helping you shoplift mass quantities of goods the way Bender might if you took him to the mall. These robots are all about providing the more traditional (and legal) kind of customer service.

Two Bay-area malls, San Francisco Centre and San Jose’s Valley Fair, will be deploying the diminutive, cheery robot called Pepper this holiday season. They’ll roll around greeting customers, seeking survey participants, and, from the looks of the photos posted by SFGate, dispensing holiday hugs.

Pepper has been developed by the robotics division of Japanese telecom giant Softbank. Last year, they offered up 1,000 Peppers for sale, and they were gone in about a minute. Clearly, there was a lot of pent-up demand for cutesy humanoid bots.

Robots Deployed To Help Black Friday Shoppers Deal With The Insanity | Tech | Geek.com

If you’d planned on heading down to either of those malls, don’t cancel your plans over visions of being swarmed by a robot army. There will only be two or three rolling around, and Pepper definitely looks like the kind of robot you can trust. I mean, hey, if this guy is comfortable giving Pepper a hug it must be safe.Robots Deployed To Help Black Friday Shoppers Deal With The Insanity | Tech | Geek.comOther places you might find a robot that’s willing to lend you a helping hand with Cousin Eddie’s shopping list? Lowes stores. Their LoweBot (not to be confused with  Lando Calrissian’s buddy Lobot), is already roaming around their stores in the Bay Area.It’s not a humanoid bot like Pepper. LoweBot looks more like a mobile self-checkout terminal or a high-tech floor polisher. They’re being deployed to take care of the simpler questions Lowe’s  customers might have — where to find deck screws, whether an item in the flyer is in stock — so that staff can spend more time answering more complex questions that require (for now, anyways) an experienced human’s insight.

Robots Deployed To Help Black Friday Shoppers Deal With The Insanity | Tech | Geek.com

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