The tests have been carried out by the R2 Robotics startup of the TechnoSpark and SIGMA.Novosibirsk nanocenters of the investment network of the Fund for Infrastructural and Educational Programs (FIEP) of the Rusnano Group.
The R2 Robotics robot merchandiser uses computer vision to receive information required for moving around the sales area or warehouse. The device takes panoramic 3D photos, that allow to assess the correctness of the display of goods in the store and its amount from a distance. The robot also collects data on the availability of goods in the sales area and in the warehouses by reading RFID tags. With these functions it is possible to conduct stocktaking anytime and to receive the latest information on the quantity of goods in the store and its location in the sales area. Thus, a manager can quickly find goods in the sales area by a code.
«Retail robotization is a growing trend in the industry which is driven by the need to maintain the profitability of retail companies. Merchandising automation service in offline stores based on autonomous robots frees up staff, increases the speed of processing online orders, and increases sales. An additional argument for the introduction of robots in retail is provided by recent events related to the pandemic.».
CEO of the R2 Robotics startup Vasily Dubas
The robot merchandiser has been specially designed to meet specific features of the retail market, and it can adapt to changes anytime: for example, to the movement of people in the sales area, to the location of glass and mirror objects, display cases and shelving. It creates a map of the area on its own, and a manager marks the supervision route on it.
A robot merchandiser is an integral part of omnichannel systems that in the next 3–5 years will be employed by all the world’s largest brands and retailers.