Robomart: Autonomous Supermarket on Wheels

In the past, customers went to the stores to shop. Today the articles are coming to customers via online-shopping. And soon the whole store comes to customers. Robomart is a concept by the Santa Clara-based startup founded by British serial entrepreneur Ali Ahmed. Ali, who had some success with his delivery service Dispatch in the UK, noticed that groceries are among the most popular items in the shopping baskets that Dispatch delivered. But what was missing were fresh produce and fruits. not because Dispatch didn’t offer them, but because customer distrust online-orders for these two perishable categories, and they are very price-sensitive on them. And those categories make 60 percent of all items in retail.

Robomart solves that problem by bringing the entire store on four wheels to the customers and have them choose from the selection of fresh fruits and vegetables. With a smartphone app customers can order the nearest Robomart to their location, access, and shop. With weight-measuring and a patent-pending “Grab and Go” the purchases are then debited from the customers stored payment method.

Especially in suburban areas with little access to grocery stores or fresh products this can become an interesting option. Moby Mart from Sweden is using a similar approach. Robomart is fully electric and charged wireless. The vehicles are supposed to achieve Level 5 autonomy. A fleet management tool allows to remotely control and supervise several Robotmarts.

The Robomart-prototype will be officially unveiled at next weeks CES. First trials will be running with grocery chains that are aiming at adding this complementary service.

This article has been also published in German.

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