Retail Customer Experience: Robotic Kiosk Taking Self-Service to Next Level
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from Retail Customer Experience, a daily news portal devoted to helping retailers differentiate the shopping experience.
A robot-making ice cream server may sound like science fiction, but it’s not fiction. Allan Jones, CEO of Robofusion, believes his ice cream kiosks will change the way retailers sell ice cream and perhaps other items.
Robofusion is a self-service kiosk that allows users to create their own five-layered ice cream treat without employee assistance. Requiring about 45 square feet, the robots come in three options — corner, flat wall or free standing — and can serve up to 40 treats per hour. The Robot puts on a show by getting a souvenir cup and filling it to customers’ exact specifications.
“We fuse technology and fun in a way that delivers a unique consumer experience,” he said.
The kiosks are perfect for malls, theaters and theme parks, according to Mr. Jones, who said five beta versions of the kiosks in such places have tested successfully. The design is being tweaked based on retailers’ suggestions before the official launch.
For $4,000, the company will install a kiosk at a retail location, train staff, and provide ongoing maintenance and support. The retailer receives a percentage of the monthly revenue generated by the kiosk based on the average number of treats sold each day. Retail partners set the price of an ice cream treat, but they usually cost between $6 and $7 each. Said Mr. Jones, “It’s not a cheap product, but customers are willing to spend more for the fun experience of building a treat with a robot.”
One deal Mr. Jones is particularly excited about is one with a “popular frozen yogurt chain.” The kiosks will carry the frozen yogurt branding; Robofusion will simply supply the hardware.
“This is the only robotic kiosk of this type in the world, so the goal is other products,” said Mr. Jones. “It doesn’t have to be ice cream; it’s a device that delivers a layered concoction, and that could be a lot of things that you can eat and drink. People should view robofusion as a company building kiosks.”
- Robotic Kiosk Taking Self-Service To Next Level – Retail Customer Experience
- Robotic ice cream kiosk (demo video) – Kiosk Marketplace
Discussion Questions: What do you think of the robotic ice-cream maker and the potential of robotics for food products sales? What other food as well as non-food categories may be work with robotic kiosks?