Looks like telepresence really will be all the rage in the future. The TMSUK-4 created by Japanese robotics developer Tmsuk will let shoppers enjoy the full tactile experience of browsing shelves without having to step into the store. We were all ready to compare the idea to the immortally reclining meatbags from Pixar's WALLE, but Tmsuk handily disarmed us with their demo. The robot allowed — get ready to awww — an infirm grandmother to shop with her granddaughter.
One of the best things, the altered TMSUK-4 doesn't take an expert to control. It can be guided with simply a cell phone. Granny used the keypad to control the robot and, using Japan's superior cell phone technology, watched through the robot's eyes as she got her granddaughter to model several hats for her. For Tmsuk, seeing the robot in action makes a future where shoppers all over the world can peruse the streets of New York and London easily imaginable.
The demonstration took place on July 10th at the Izutsuya department store in Kitakyushu, Japan.