Photo of José Benítez

Artificial intelligence & robotics

José Benítez

Uses artificial intelligence and computer vision to turn display refrigerators into autonomous vending machines.

Year Honored


Latin America

Hails From

In Japan, there is one vending machine for every 23 people. These untimed outlets bring consumers closer to the products they need when there are no other alternatives. Vending does not require qualified staff or personalized attention. Although common in other regions of the world, they are difficult to find in Latin America. Their high cost and complicated logistics hinder their popularization. Consumers are deprived of a device that provides food, beverages, and other goods at any time and in proximity. 

With the aim of transforming retail, the young electrical engineer José Benitez has created the start-up Intuitivo. With artificial intelligence and computer vision, it turns display coolers or refrigerators into autonomous vending machines. The customer doesn't even have to use a card or cash to pay. Thanks to this initiative, Benítez has become one of the 35 winners of MIT Technology Review's Innovators Under 35 Latin America 2022 in Spanish. 

The consumer scans the QR code attached to the machine that identifies the Intuitivo user. It unlocks the door and allows the products to be obtained. After closing the stall, the amount of the goods is charged from the customer's account. The young man details, "We add three cameras and a CPU and turn any display into an autonomous point of sale. We upload the videos to the cloud, they are analyzed, identify the products coming out of the device and generate a ticket for the user." 

The retailer benefits from a dashboard that shows stock and sales in real time. These images prevent vandalism and theft. It also cuts out the middleman by allowing the manufacturer to communicate directly with customers through Intuitivo's Grab & Go technology. This innovation empowers the customer and the brands. 

The young Paraguayan seeks to decentralize retail and bring products closer to the consumer by reducing the costs and logistics required to do so. Brazil, Argentina, and Peru already have 200 autonomous refrigerators thanks to Benítez's breakthrough. The engineer is already working on improving the software to automate 50,000 points of sale worldwide in the coming years. In addition, he is looking to connect the different machines with computer vision with 5G. He adds, "It will be the first major infrastructure in the world with computer vision technology applied to retail."