The Model-T robot — named after the Ford automobile that pioneered assembly line production in the early 20th Century — is controlled by shop staff remotely. A human “pilot” wears a virtual reality (VR) headset and special gloves that let them “feel” in their own hands the products the robot is holding. Microphones and headphones allow them to communicate with people in the store.
In theory, the robot could be controlled from anywhere in the world, says Komatsu. During a trial in August at a FamilyMart store in Tokyo, the pilot operated the robot from a VR terminal at the Telexistence office around five miles away.
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Seven-foot robots are stacking shelves in Tokyo convenience stores
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