ICC unveils ‘world first’ humanoid sales robot

Corporate October 04, 2016 01:00

By KWANCHAI RUNGFAPAISARN

THE NATION

ICC International, Saha Group’s trading arm for fashion apparel and cosmetic products, yesterday announced it use of point-of-sale robots



The first human-like and interactive robot, Din Sor, will be available at the Arrow shop on the second floor of the Terminal 21 shopping complex on Sukhumvit Road (near the Asoke Intersection) from November, as 80 per cent of the store’s customers are foreigners.
 The robot welcomes and entertains shoppers and gives in-depth product information in five languages.
ICC International will introduce Din Sor at major chain stores of its apparel and cosmetics brands, including BSC Cosmetology, Thailand Best, and Wacoal. 
The company operates about 200 branded stores in Bangkok and other major cities and employs about 6,000 staff. 
Din Sor was developed and produced by Thai company CT Asia Robotics, which spent almost six years in research and development on the robot. It is claimed the robot will be able to help businesses in many areas such as caring for the elderly and serving food in restaurants.
Boonkiet Chokwatana, chairman of the board at ICC International, said that the robot would be able to record real-time stock in a store and let staff know if a product was in stock.
“The use of point-of-sale robots will help our branded stores to prevent a loss in sales because of a stock problem,” he said.
“The robot will be connected with the company’s point-of-sale system, so that they will be able to plan and management stock more efficiency.”
He said that the robot would be able to communicate with shoppers in Thai, English, Chinese, Japanese, and French. 
Chalermpon Punnotok, chief executive officer of CT Asia Robotics, said that with its factory on Pattanakarn Road, the company could produce about 500 robots a month.
“We have already passed the difficult research and development process and all basics works, which has cost nearly Bt100 million … The rest is all the applied works for their functions to allow our robots to fit in with different specific works required by a business and related sectors, such as hospitals and medical centres,” Chalermpon said.
He said that the robots were connected with Wi-Fi and a cloud server, so that they had no memory limitation.
Chalermpon said that by the end of the year the company would deliver the first shipment of 500 robots to a local company in Japan, which would use the robots to help care for the elderly. The company has appointed a local distributor in Japan.
“[Thailand] will become an elderly society in the next five years,” he said.
For Thailand, Chalermpon said the company had appointed Techno Medical to look after the distribution of its robots in the medical sector. However, no company had been appointed yet to be its distributor for the mass market.
“We are in the trial process of working with major local hospitals, comprising Chulalongkorn Hospital, Phyathai Hospital and Kluaynamthai Hospital, for the development of robots that are able to comply to their specific medical works,” he said.
 

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