Robotics & Automation News

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Simbe unveils new version of its shop inventory robot

Simbe Robotics, a provider of retail service robots, has launched Tally 3.0 – the latest design iteration of its autonomous inventory robot, Tally.

Simbe says its “unique, human-centered approach to design” has set Tally apart from competitors since its initial debut in 2015.

The company adds in its press release: “With enhancements to the robot’s optical system, greater durability and maneuverability to ensure cost-effective top performance, and the introduction of an embedded data processor, Tally 3.0 continues to lead the pack and remains the most innovative, efficient retail robot on the market.”

Brad Bogolea, Simbe’s co-founder and chief executive officer, says: “At Simbe, our ongoing commitment to best-in-class design and unparalleled data accuracy has empowered our partners with the real-time shelf insights they need to protect their bottom line and competitively serve customers in a rapidly evolving retail landscape.

“We’re pleased to announce Tally 3.0 and unveil an even-better autonomous solution to the most common problem plaguing the retail industry – inventory management.”

Simbe’s multi-pronged approach to enhanced optics combines new autofocus capabilities with more cutting-edge sensors that improve depth perception, enabling Tally to efficiently analyze inventory in every aspect of the retail environment.

Simbe strategically added height to Tally’s slender base, making room for additional Intel™ RealSense® depth and RGB cameras to ‘see’ more products on shelf – including top shelf overstock items.

Tally’s new, autofocus optical system accurately captures shelf tags and reads data from up to 30 inches away, enhancing the robot’s recognition accuracy to nearly 99% and allowing it to do its job without slowing its traversal speed.

These thoughtful additions to Tally’s design enable the robot to precisely capture inventory data from any store fixture or variable shelving unit, from products on standard shelving to items stacked in coolers in the freezer aisles.

Additionally, Simbe has leveraged the newest mobile technology to create a more cost-effective and resilient Tally robot with the same compact, slim form.

Designed for long-term performance with minimal maintenance, Tally is now five times as resilient, increasing Tally’s lifetime traversal capabilities to more than 5,000 miles per robot – and at an aggressively lower cost to scale.

As Tally traverses store aisles and captures real-time shelf data, the inventory information is then sent to Simbe’s proprietary, secure cloud platform that enables store teams to stitch together high-definition 3D images of the store shelves.

Tally 3.0 features an embedded data processor with a graphical processing unit, allowing the next iteration of Tally to be even more efficient by running its deep computer vision algorithms on the edge.

This additional processing capability and unique hybrid approach improves the efficiency of Tally’s data capture, providing Simbe’s customers with shelf information more quickly and seamlessly, as well as helps minimize the costs of capturing and uploading the robot’s data to retailers’ back-end systems.

Simbe’s team of retail experts, data scientists, world-class robotics engineers and industrial designers have propelled the company to the forefront of the robotics industry as the leading data-driven inventory solution for retailers.

Using a unique combination of RFID scanning technology, computer vision, and AI-powered analysis, Tally provides actionable, e-commerce level insights to physical retailers, solving for the $1.75 trillion “ghost economy” defined by out-of-stock items, accurate price execution, and lack of product location optimization industry-wide.

Dave Steck, vice president of IT infrastructure and application development at Schnucks, says: “The amount of critical data and valuable insights that Tally continues to bring us from a select number of stores is immeasurable.

“By expanding our partnership with Simbe and introducing Tally to more than half our stores, we will improve our in-stock position for our customers and free up our teams from tedious inventory-related tasks, allowing more focus on service.

“Improving our customer’s experiences has always been deeply important to us and is becoming even more critical to operations in a rapidly changing retail environment.”

Tally has been deployed in more than a dozen of the top 250 global retailers in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Through work with retail partners including Carrefour, Decathlon Sporting Goods, Groupe Casino, Giant Eagle, and Schnuck Markets, Simbe is building one of the most valuable datasets in the retail ecosystem.

Simbe says independent researchers found that Tally:

  • detects up to 10x more out-of-stock items than manual audits conducted by store teams;
  • averages a 20 percent reduction in out-of-stock items at the store level;
  • Pays for itself as quickly as the first month of deployment at a store;
  • 70 percent or more in labor savings for manual shelf audit-related tasks providing critical boosts in productivity in other areas (restocking, customer service, online grocery order picking);
  • $5-10 of increased margin contribution for each missing / incorrect price tag identified and corrected, driven by improved pricing / promotional execution at the store level; and
  • yield more than 2 percent in annual sales lift due to better data and improved store execution.

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