Robots are coming to retail.
AT CES last week, there were plenty of robots in all shapes and sizes. Some are intended to be home companions and others to aid on the factory floor.
At the annual National Retail Federation Big Show in New Yoro this week, one robot that is already making its mark in retail was on display showing how it can do its thing.
The NAVii autonomous robot from Fellow Robots can greet customers and, especially in big box stores, lead shoppers to desired products that they tell the robot they’re looking for.
However, the payback part of the robot may be in the tracking of products on shelves.
Lowe’s is using the robots in several of its stores to help customers but also to track its inventory.
The display at NRF was squarely targeted at showing how NAVii tracks products on shelves.
The robot roams the store and creates a map. It then goes around to check shelves, scanning products and the prices on the tags in front of the products, Marco Mascorro, CEO and co-founder told me as he demonstrated the robot at NRF.
Rather than the robot stopping at each product to scan it as would a human, the machine whizzes along scanning multiple shelves and products on its way by.
NAVii determines if an item if out of stock, if there’s a price discrepancy and whether products are in the wrong location by using machine learning and IA, Mascorro said.
Like other robots targeting business, NAVii has an interactive screen, which can be used to convey information to employees as well as interact with customers.
Walmart is also testing robots for checking store shelves and has devices in 50 stores, according to the company.
The robots at retail are hardly a secret and those at Lowe’s track inventory during the day, even as customers shop. They’re blending in with consumers in everyday life.