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Meet the Japanese Robot Who Stocks Drinks at the Corner Store

Robot TX SCARA, aka GORDON, is lending a helping hand, literally.


A Tokyo chain has found a helping hand in the form of a robot named TX SCARA, which is helping stock shelves at FamilyMart convenience stores. The robot, which has a clip-like hand to grasp cans and bottles, lives behind refrigerated shelves and uses artificial intelligence to restock beverages by sliding from the stockpile to each item's appropriate display.

TX SCARA, which also goes by GORDON, is programmed to know the right place for each product, according to maker Telexistence, per AP News. GORDON can stock up to 1,000 cans and bottles a day and fills a role for workers who want to be on the floor with customers and not stocking products in a cold back room.

"We want to automate all the repetitive jobs and boring jobs done by humans," Telexistence chief executive Jin Tomioka told the outlet. "That is the direction we are going. And the best way to do that is to use the robots."

GORDON can be programmed to work in any store layout and can be remotely controlled by Microsoft cloud computing service Azure. Telexistence operators wear virtual reality glasses and can troubleshoot issues with the robot without even being in the store.

As the labor shortage continues to impact businesses around the world, "We are seeking a robot's arm for help," FamilyMart executive officer Tomohiro Kano says.

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