An AI-powered robot may soon assist shoppers at grocery stores, making product recommendations to consumers based on age and gender, according to reports.

Currently in development, the Spod robot from India startup Invento Robotics greets shoppers, introduces itself and scans shopper faces to determine if the shopper has been there before. Using information obtained from the scan, including the consumer’s age and gender, Spod can make product recommendations. Consumers interact with Spod through its mounted tablet to access product information and discounts, while Spod navigates them to the product in the store. The final version of Spod will dock itself to a charging station when its rechargeable batteries are low, according to Invento Robotics.

Invento Robotics envisions that Spod will improve the shopping experience for customers, even carrying around consumer selections in an attached basket. Additionally, Invento Robotics explained that using the robot will be free to both customers and retailers. Instead, costs for Spod's operation will likely be incurred by the brands who submit their products through the robot, according to its makers.

Suggesting that Spod will be a boon to both retailers and consumers, Balaji Vishwanathan, co-founder of Invento Robotics, explained, “For retailers, it’s about driving sales. For brands, it’s about giving out more information about the product. E-commerce players want this to be used at the back-end at their inventories, while large malls want it at the front-end, guiding customers in stores.”

While still under development, Invento Robotics expects to launch Spod to retailers in June.

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