Simbe Robotics developed the robot in response to the billions of dollars retailers lose annually as a result of out-of-stock items, empty shelves, and other in-store inconsistencies. Currently retailers rely on their IT systems and manual labor to account for product availability which has proved to be costly and inaccurate.They have a video of the small robot (about 38" tall and 30 pounds) patrolling the store on the Simbe Robotics website. As it rolls down the aisle, it examines every item noting those needed restock, items in the wrong place, or those that need a price correction. Tally then sends the data to "the cloud". You know from your own experience that when you go looking for an item in the store and it's not on the shelves, you usually don't linger around trying to find one, you move on. That's a lost opportunity for the store. With a small, nimble robot constantly on patrol, they can direct humans to do the tasks requiring hands. The robot is autonomous and can navigate the store on its own, then find its way back to its charging station when its batteries are getting low.
The mobile robot autonomously scans large retail environments to capture, report, and analyze the state and availability of merchandise and help ensure compliance standard placement of products on shelves in order to maximize sales. Tally performs the repetitive tasks of auditing shelves for out-of-stock items, low stock items, misplaced items, and pricing errors, in an attempt to make sure customers leave satisfied and the company doesn’t lose money.
In my mind, the big question is why do the stores need Tally? If everything coming into stock is ID'ed when it left the warehouse, and the ID tracked from the receiving deck (to rule out theft off the truck) to the shelf, and then ID'ed when the checkout robot scans it, shouldn't the stores know the contents of everything at all times? Or is this too idealized?