Commentary

NRF 2019: Robots Roaming The Aisles Of Retail

Robots at retail are getting better.

At the annual National Retail Federation (NRF) Big Show in New York this week, I saw plenty of robots that can roam up and down the aisles scanning products as they go.

Such robots are working the aisles in various stores ranging from Walmart to Lowe’s.

The retail robot from Fellow Robots, on display in the massive Microsoft partners booth, demonstrated how products could be scanned and the incorrect location or products identified.

The demonstrator showed me how the robot could identify a wrong tag on a product shelf and then pinpoint the exact location for a store associate to go to correct it.

To start, the NAVii robot roams a store and creates a map and then goes around to check shelves, scanning products and the prices as it goes.

The robots still can’t correct the issue of a wrong product tag or a product being in the wrong location, that still takes people.

These retail robots are about making the work of store associates easier and can be expected to continue popping up at retail, especially at large stores around the country. 

Based on the traffic at the booth, there's plenty of interest in robots at retail.

 

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