Robots have long been replacing humans in factories and other places less visible to consumers, but the store shelf-stocking Tally from Simbe Robotics is making the shift much more visible. Sensors help it navigate around both shoppers and employees as it makes the rounds between aisles. “Tally performs the repetitive and laborious tasks of auditing shelves for out-of-stock items, low stock items, misplaced items, and pricing errors. Tally operates safely during normal store hours alongside shoppers and employees.”
For now, the bot has only half the job: it wheels around and scans products to see where inventory is low, then relays that data to those will will actually put new stock in place. The next step, though, is only a matter of time. Like a Roomba, the robot seeks out and docks to a charging station when needed, and learns the patterns of its place of work through a combination of sensor inputs and learned data.
“Tally performs repetitive and laborious tasks of auditing shelves for out-of-stock items, low stock items, misplaced items, and pricing errors,” the company said in a press release. “Tally has the ability to audit shelves cheaper, more frequently, and significantly faster than existing processes; and with near-perfect accuracy.”