March 15  

Simbe Robotics announced today a shop inventory robot that is able to drive around retail stores with the sole task of seeing to it that shelves are properly stocked with merchandise. This promises to reduce manual labor costs as well as missed income from customers who fail to find what they are looking for due to improperly stocked shelves. The robot, called Tally, features an assortment of sensors that allow it to navigate autonomously around a shop while at the same time scanning shelf inventory information. It primarily identifies out-of-stock and low-stock shelf items, but it can also respond to merchandise that has been incorrectly placed as well as any pricing anomalies. Unfortunately, it can’t yet deal with any of the issues that it does find, instead delivering information and suggestions back to store employees via the cloud. Tally also does not require any special physical shop layouts to carry out its task and can even work while consumers are going about their daily shopping, returning to its recharging station when it needs to. Monitoring stock levels can be a labor-intensive activity, and it is usually difficult to do reliably, so having a robot take over the responsibility is an ideal solution.