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FRIDAY FUNNY: The Automat Revisited

Written by Heidi Schwartz. Posted in Friday Funny

Tagged: , , , , ,

Published on March 26, 2010 with No Comments

Today’s lifestyles are changing: flexible or non-standard working hours, frequent travel, and varied leisure activities all encourage the consumer to look for services that make daily life easier. Modern consumers like to be free of time constraints so they can manage their time as they see fit.

This shift has created a new retail channel which requires 24/7 accessibility, a wide range of choice, simplicity and secure payment. While meeting these new requirements, retailers are seeking to reduce personnel costs, improve profit, and expand development opportunities.

From self check out grocery stores to coffee machines to car washes, automation is everywhere. But where’s automation when you really need it, like in 24/7 convenience stores, for instance?

Relax. The 24RobotMart is on the way.

Referred to as the “latest innovation in picking and packaging,” 24RobotMart by B+ Equipment is able to hold up to 800 items. It functions as a large vending machine and can be installed indoors or outdoors.

It allows customers to select a large range of items for fast service, just like at a convenience store, but even more convenient and faster, thanks to the machine’s automated vending mechanism and easy-to-use item selection and payment screen. This system makes it possible to vend several items at once, which is typically difficult with standard vending machines.

Able to operate in a wide range of product sectors (snacks, fresh food, health and wellness, consumer electronics, office supplies, and many more), the machine includes a display case for products and a touch screen that processes item selection, payment, and provides a receipt.

Products are selected by browsing the images or typing a product on the touch screen. The order can be changed at any time during the process, and once the selection is finalized, the customer is prompted to pay. Payments of cash (bills and coins) or credit are accepted, and the POS system can be integrated with a customer loyalty program card.

Once payment is provided, the products are collected in an automated basket system that moves through the product shelves behind the display case in less than 30 seconds. The order is then delivered, all articles upright, to the customer via the delivery station. Finally, the payment is processed, and a receipt is provided. A paper bag for the items can be selected to include with the order.

24RoboMart can operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It’s perfectly suited for locations open to the general public (gas stations, shopping malls, hospitals, train stations, airports) or even outdoors in town or city squares. In this way, a variety of different products can be sold outside traditional store hours.

Check out this video to see the Mart in action:

About Heidi Schwartz

Heidi Schwartz

Schwartz joined Group C Media in April 1989 as managing editor of Today's Facility Manager (TFM) magazine (formerly Business Interiors) where she was subsequently promoted to editor/co-publisher of the monthly trade magazine for facility management professionals. In September 2012, she took over the newly created position of internet director for TFM's parent company, Group C Media, where she is charged with developing content and creating online strategies for TFM and its sister publication, Business Facilities. Schwartz can be reached at schwartz@groupc.com.

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