Ground has broken in the US state of Iowa on the world’s first robot grocery store.
The project was devised by non-profit group Eat Greater Des Moines, and Oasis24seven, a business equipment firm.
The business will run in a similar way to a vending machine, in that customers can choose what they want to buy from a range of 200 to 800 products listed on touchscreen.
David Maurer, the chief executive of Oasis24seven, told bgr.com that the store "works on a conveyor belt system, with an extractor that retrieves the product from the racks and places it on the conveyor for delivery to the customer".
The automated 260 square foot facility will automatically get rid of any food past its sell-by date.
The project grew out of necessity as there are a limited number of places in Des Moines where locals can buy fresh produce.
Eat Greater Des Moines has been awarded a $30,000 prize for the project by the Greater Des Moines Community Foundation.
The store is due to be open by August this year.
Image: Des Moines River (Wikimedia Commons)