After Bodega, the start-up that tried to replace neighborhood stores and failed miserably, we now get the chance to look at Robomart.
The Robomart is a contraption that could be straight out of the very disturbing Season 4 Black Mirror episode. However, it’s mostly focused on healthy food, so it’s not quite that dystopian.
It’s strangely similar to the Nuro, an autonomous vehicle designed by former Google employees that aims to deliver packages.
The official tagline says the Robomart is a self-driving mini-mart and shows a few vegetables in the window.
Instead of pitching the consumers, the Robomart’s debut goes for the wannabe franchisers. It’s not supposed to be controlled by a single entity. Instead, it will rely on licensing. Any profit-inclined individual could license the platform and the self-driving store, then hope to turn a profit in the 24 month lease.
For customers, it would be a process similar to Uber Eats. Tap a button to summon the closest Robomart and, once it’s there, grab your items and send it on its way.
According to the official website, there’s a patent pending “grab and go” checkout free technology that will allow customers to shop with the least amount of hassle. The Robomart can come equipped with either a refrigeration or a heating system – it can be a good mobile home for fresh avocados, or a fierce rival for hot-dog carts.
For Tech Crunch, the startup’s founder claimed that, for wannabe entrepreneurs, “it’s significantly cheaper than setting up a new store”.
On the official website, the company says women would really like a Robomart.
“We conducted extensive research and surveyed women between 26-44 in the US and found that more than 85% of them do not shop for fruits and vegetables online, because they felt home delivery is too expensive and that they wanted to pick their own produce. Almost 65% said they would order a robomart more than once a week.”
What about the dudes, do they not shop for produce?!