(CNN) — Two of the biggest convenience store franchises in Japan are deploying a two-handed robot named Model-T to help stock shelves. The robot, seven feet tall when extended to its full height, is controlled remotely with a VR headset and special gloves.
Japan's convenience stores are turning to robots to solve their labor shortage.
This week, Lawson deployed its first robot in a convenience store, in Tokyo. FamilyMart trialled the same robots last month, and says it plans to have them working in 20 of its stores by 2022.
Model-T, developed by Japanese startup Telexistence. Seven feet tall when extended to its full height, the robot moves around on a wheeled platform and is kitted out with cameras, microphones and sensors. Using the three “fingers” on each of its two hands it can stock shelves with products such as bottled drinks, cans and rice bowls.
“It is able to grasp, or pick and place, objects of several different shapes and sizes into different locations,” Matt Komatsu, head of business development and operations at Telexistence, tells CNN Business. — Nell Lewis, CNN Business/@CNN