Vending Machine Robots Provide Security For Children
According to a news story posted by the Kansai edition of the Nikkei, school officials in an Osaka school district have started testing a street corner security robot system to track young students on their way to and from school.
The "street corner" robot system takes advantage of the vending machines already located throughout Japanese neighborhoods. They provide a ready made location complete with power, regular maintenance/service, and already have network connectivity.
Each school child is issued a IC tag card, typically installed in their school backpack. When they pass one of the robot equipped vending machine it reads the tag, takes a digital photo, records the child's information, location, date and time, then sends it off to the parents cell phone or personal computer.
The initial test phase is expected to be a 'proof of concept' and should last for roughly three years. Presumably the vending machine companies will also benefit from the improved security, and it may result in a decrease in the number of minors purchasing cigarettes and other age-restricted items from the ubiquitous machines.
Street Corner Security Robots - Nikkei (Japanese)
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