The best part of grocery shopping isn't finding some exotic new flavor of yogurt or the free samples, it's tooling around the store like a rally car driver with your shopping cart. So why have researchers developed an autonomous human-tracking cart that follows you around the store? Seems like time better spent making checkout lanes less terrible.
That being said, it's hard not to get excited about a shopping cart that uses a Kinect and various other sensors to stay a few feet behind you as you wander through a store. Developed by students at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, it unfortunately doesn't look like the cart is smart enough to catch items that you've randomly tossed in the air as you meander down a store aisle, but surely that feature is still in development.
However, as wonderful as these technologically-enhanced carts might seem, there's no way grocery stores are going to loan them out to shoppers for just a quarter. So they might end up being a BYO affair. [YouTube via Damn Geeky]