PCR's deputy editor Laura Barnes ponders the future of robotics

Will we really see robots at retail?

Following the news late last year that a third of UK jobs will be at risk from robots in the next 20 years and Professor Stephen Hawking claiming robots could end mankind, you may be thinking that all those dystopian sci-fi films are starting to come true.

Well I finally had the chance to actually meet one of these job-stealing cyborgs and what I found is that rather than putting you out of business, they may just be another product line for you to sell. 

Engage Production had a ‘RoboThespian’ called Norris on show at its latest Flux Innovation Lounge event, showcasing how the robot could be used in the tech industry.

“This sort of technology is what we’re seeing being applied in the retail world and it is going to become much more ubiquitous over the next couple of years,” Engage Production’s commercial director, Andy Hasoon, told PCR.

“We’re showing the capabilities of what robots are able to do. 

“What we’ve been finding is this tech is great at exhibitions and conferences. We can programme Norris with information and messages,” he added.

Whether supplying a RoboThespian to small businesses, having a robot in your store to provide information to customers, or selling them directly to consumers, Hasoon believes that the price of robots like Norris will decrease over the next few years from the current £100,000 price tag to around £1,000.

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