There’s a store in Palo Alto staffed exclusively by robots.
The Beam store, which was recently visited by a writer for IEEE Spectrum, sells telepresence robots that let you attend meetings you can’t be at.
The store’s salespeople use the BeamPro — which costs $US20,000 — to sell more robots.
Beam is also working on a cheaper model that will cost about $US2,000.
The lack of humans in the store may seem weird, but it makes sense that Beam would use its own products to sell more of them. The entire store is basically a demo for the robots.
The robots are tracked using GPS and weigh 92 pounds each, making theft less of an issue.
They’re also impossible to operate without Beam’s software.
Beam isn’t the only company working on telepresence robots. Cisco has a similar robot that runs off of an iPad app and costs between $US4,000 and $US6,000.
Check out the video of customers interacting with the “salespeople”: