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An automated return shopping cart for enabling a shopping cart to sense when it is not in use and automatically return itself to a cart corral area when it is not in use. The automated return shopping cart comprises a conventional shopping cart modified to include an automation component, which includes the programmable logic controller, a rechargeable battery, the powertrain components, and brakes, interconnected with a GPS component, object sensors, activity sensors, two docking ports, a touchscreen, and a WiFi component. Whenever the cart is not in use, the automation component causes the cart to be moved back to a desired location, using the GPS component to determine the route based on the location of the desired destination.; While in route to the desired destination, object sensors are used to detect objects in the current and potential path of the cart, enabling the cart to avoid the objects.

My invention is about a better and convenient way to gather shopping carts at large shopping malls. There would be no need to have actual employees gathering shopping carts through-out the day, because the shopping carts would be parking themselves automatically using GPS. This would boost morale among employees and create better efficiency for the stores using this product. Instead of gathering shopping carts the employee could be stocking shelves or helping out in other areas in the store.

This would benefit and save the big box retailers about $8,000,000 per year on stolen and damaged shopping carts. This saving would be passed on to the consumers. ("Google Article")

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