Best Buy is testing a new robot, named "Chloe," which retrieves small items like DVDs, CDs, video games and tech accessories for customers, right before their eyes.
As Kavita Kumar of the Minneapolis Star Tribune wrote (Sept. 26), Chloe was launched in a New York City store last week, operating within "a 350-square-foot vending machine on steroids."
Chloe serves customers via 9 touchscreens and draws from a library of 15,000 items.
As you can see in the photos above and below, Chloe is a robotic yellow arm that fulfills orders customers make on touchscreens mounted in front of the large vending machine.
The vending machine holds a whopping inventory of 15,000 items and features a total of nine touchscreens. Two of these touchscreens are accessible even when the rest of the store is closed.
"A small team at Best Buy Company headquarters in Richfield has been developing this machine over the past couple of years and has a patent for it," Kumar wrote. "The same team created and rolled out more than 200 self-serve vending machines in high-traffic locations such as airports. Called Best Buy Express, those machines sell iPods, cellphone chargers and other products."
The same team that developed Chloe also launched Best Buy Express vending machines in airports and high-traffic locations across the U.S.
Another cool feature to Chloe is that it automatically sorts items for restocking after employees insert them into the machine.
Best Buy placed the robot in a high tourist traffic location, in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, both to test its popularity and to maximize the brand exposure.