Lowe’s Will Use Robot Greeters This Holiday Season, Science Times, Oct 28, 2014If you happen to find yourself in a Orchard Supply Warehouse in Northern California this November, don’t be alarmed if you are approached by a large LCD screen on wheels, especially when it talks to you. Lowe’s will introduce new robot shopping assistants at a trial location later next month and claims this is the first robot to inhabit such a role in a retail environment. Lowe’s, which acquired Orchard Supply Hardware last year, has dubbed the new assistants the ‘OHSbot,’ as they will be making their debut in an OSH location.If all goes according to plan, the OSHbots will welcome customers as they enter stores and ask if they can help them find anything in particular. The robots will be able to provide details on items in the store and will also walk–er, wheel customers to the exact location of the item(s) they’re looking for.The OSHbots stand five feet tall and are made of white plastic. They feature two screens, one on the front and back of the robot, and can even allow customers to video conference with store associates. OSHbots will also be able to scan an item a customer has in their hands utilizing a 3-D scanner built-in to the robots’ bodies. Oh yeah, and they can also speak Spanish. Pretty neat.The OSHbots were created through a partnership between Lowe’s and a startup company called Fellow Robots. Accordin to Kyle Nel, head of Lowe’s Innovation Labs, the robots will make shopping more convenient for customers and also combine aspects of e-commerce with traditional shopping.OSHbots will also display ads on their back screen as you follow them to your specified item(s), and those ads will be relevant to the section of the store you are in. So for instance, if you’re passing the lighting section, the OSHbot might display and add for light bulbs or a lamp and then switch to a gardening product as you pass that department, etc.The OSHbots use lasers in order to accurately and safely navigate through aisles, and it’s the same light detection and ranging system employed by the self-driving cars made by Google.The reason we haven’t seen robots in retail stores sooner is because of cost. the Lidar laser system the robots use to navigate can cost nearly $50,000, however, more cheaper options are now becoming available, and should the OSHbots prove a success this November, we might be seeing a lot more robots everywhere else.