How do you make a robot cute?

Answer: Give it giant googly eyes.

by / January 16, 2019

That’s the tactic being employed by Brain Corp. and Ahold Delhaize USA. Brain Corp.’s robots, called Martys, essentially look like pillars on wheels with big googly eyes attached to the front. In the next six months, Marty robots will begin patrolling the floors of Ahold’s supermarket chains in the U.S., including Giant Food Stores, Martin’s and Shop & Shop.

The Martys are designed to help the humans working in the stores do their jobs, rather than replacing them. They’ll simply roll around throughout the store, looking for problems like spills or items that have fallen off of shelves. When they find something that needs attention, they’ll alert store staff via the PA system and warn customers in the immediate vicinity.