Inside Unmanned Systems

DEC 2017 - JAN 2018

Inside Unmanned Systems provides actionable business intelligence to decision-makers and influencers operating within the global UAS community. Features include analysis of key technologies, policy/regulatory developments and new product design.

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AIR INNOVATIONS 54 unmanned systems inside   December 2017/January 2018 The information Tally provides is not only beneficial to the retailer, but also the brands found on the store shelves, said Brad Bogolea, CEO and Co-founder of Simbe Robotics. It helps them understand their share of shelf space versus their competitors. And if their product is always in stock, they have more brand visibility, which means more opportunity for their products to make it into a customer's shopping cart. "One out of 10 items on a customer's list is not on the shelf. If the product is on promotion there's a good chance it's closer to two out of 10 times," he said. "That affects the customer, the retailer and the brand. If a brand product is not on the shelf, that's a missed opportunity for the manufacturer. It's our responsibility to close that gap and provide better shelf health conditions." THE BRAND BENEFIT By fusing these elements together, Tally can map the environment and understand pre- cisely where it is in that environment. Tally uses advanced computer vision technology to deconstruct what it sees on the shelf, and can identify every shelf tag or price tag. It also can identify where the holes are, and if employees need to restock a missing item. Members of the Simbe team were on hand during testing at the Schnuck stores to help ensure implementation went as planned, Steck said. The robot was able to map the stores in about two hours. Once that was done, it moved on to the more complicated task of determining where each shelf segment begins and ends and what exposure setting was needed to properly scan the items. The grocer gave Simbe plano- grams (what stores use to define which items go on the shelf and how many spacings those items get) that were then ingested into Tally's software. Retailers have thousands of products to man- age, so it's difficult for them to know what's on their shelves in real time, Bogolea said. An av- erage grocery store, for example, has anywhere from 40,000 to 70,000 products, while a store like Target has more than 100,000. It takes about 20 human hours to audit 10,000 prod- ucts. For a store that's Target-sized, that's 200 hours per week auditing shelves. In a smaller store like Walgreens or CVS, the number of hours falls between 25 and 50. "By the time a human completes an audit, the store has already undergone dynamic change, so you don't get a complete look at things," Bogolea said. "Tally can analyze 15,000 to 30,000 products per hour depend- ing on the size of the store and how much the robot has to traverse." The information is uploaded by category and is available in almost real time, Bogolea said. The goal is to provide results for nearly every category, if not every category, before the com- plete audit is finished. Because of the time savings, stores can com- plete audits several times a day, Bogolea said. For example, many grocery stores that have imple- mented Tally perform three—one in the morning to validate restocking happened over night, one Photo courtesy of BevMo!. BevMo! recently implemented a robot from Fellow Robotics into one of its stores. The robot can help with inventory management as well as interact with customers. "IN THE WAREHOUSE OF THE FUTURE, INVENTORY WON'T BE TOUCHED BY HUMANS AND ERRORS WILL NOT OCCUR. THIS (UAS) IS JUST ONE PIECE OF TECHNOLOGY THAT CAN DO THAT." Matt Yearling, CEO, PINC

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