There are many ways stores try to prevent the theft of shopping carts from physical barriers directly outside the store to a temporary deposit until the cart is returned. However, expensive robotic technologies require additional anti-theft and loss protections.
About the Patent Application
A new LG patent application was published by the USPTO, regarding a new robotic anti-theft cart management system. There are two parts to this invention monitored by a common system: a user terminal and a mobile robot. The system monitors the distance between the user terminal and the mobile robot and determines the robot’s mode of operation. Depending on the robot’s distance from the user terminal the mobile robot can be configured to operate in different modes. Within a certain distance, the robot shopping cart can be programmed to follow the customer while shopping. If the distance between the user terminal and the robot exceeds a threshold the robot will operate in an anti-theft mode. Once the robot has engaged the anti-theft mode it will automatically path back to the user terminal while sounding an alarm. In this way not only does the robot shopping cart improve the user’s shopping experience by keeping the cart automatically close while within range of the user terminal, but it also provides active measures to prevent theft while shopping.
WHAT THE INVENTION WOULD DO
This invention benefits both shoppers and stores by providing a means for advanced control of shopping carts. The ability for the user to have the cart follow them and stay within a specified radius provides an overall benefit to the user’s shopping experience while also providing the store with increased control over their shopping carts. Innovation is possible in all technological fields, and development in shopping carts is no different. By incorporating these types of sensors and control systems networking LG has developed an innovative means for stores to provide a better overall experience for their customer.
LG’s Robot Revolution
LG’s shopping cart robot is not alone in the service sector. Currently, the company has a dedicated family of LG CLOi robots; including the recent UV robot, GuideBot, BaristaBot, ServeBot, and ChefBot. According to a 2021 post from the company, “LGs CLOi is presenting humans with a world where interacting with robots, even on an emotional level, isn’t only possible, but desirable as well. And who doesn’t want more time to focus on the things that really matter and make life so good?”
Check out the full line of LG’s CLOi robots in action below:
Written by John DeStefano, Technical Advisor
April 29, 2021