By YURI KAGEYAMA
TOKYO (AP) — A small robot with a clip-like hand and the smarts to know which drinks are popular is part of an effort to make convenience stores even more convenient. The robot named TX SCARA operates behind the refrigerated shelves in the back of a FamilyMart store. It knows what kind of beverages are running short and can lift cans and bottles one by one onto the shelf. Industrial robots are common in factories, and others can map disaster zones and help doctors perform surgery. But TX SCARA aims at the repetitive work done in convenience stores and warehouses. It’s one possible answer to Japan’s worsening labor shortage.