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French Supermarket Launches Robot Delivery

French Supermarket Launches Robot Delivery

Saturday, 20 April, 2019 - 04:45
This December 15, 2018, image courtesy of Amazon, shows the company's new delivery system robot 'Scout.' (Amazon/AFP/File).
Paris - London - Asharq Al-Awsat
A French supermarket group plans to use robots inspired by the famous Star Wars droid to transport food to customers in Paris, Reuters reported.

Stepping up the race for automated deliveries with online retailers such as Amazon, Casino's Franprix chain will test the delivery robots on the streets of Paris's 13th arrondissement for a year.

In the French capital, where Amazon has been running its Amazon Prime Now express delivery service since 2016, the speedy and convenient delivery of food has become a battleground among retailers.

Franprix Managing Director Jean-Paul Mochet said of the service, which will be free: "This droid will facilitate the life of city dwellers. We are going to test three droids in this store. If the test is successful, we may extend it to other Franprix stores."

Franprix and its partner, French start-up TwinswHeel which developed the as yet unnamed robot, are running the test after the city's authorities approved the southeastern arrondissement for the experiment.

Using a "Follow Me" button on the machine, the robot is paired with customers through visual recognition, so it can follow them in store and on the street. Initially, the robot will not go on the streets on its own, but will be followed by an operator because Franprix does not have permission for the machine to travel solo yet.

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