Supermarket Perimeter - November 2020 - 17

to restock that item. If the item is completely out of
stock, the robot can connect with a third-party supplier
and place an order. Tally's data can be mined to track
inventory patterns and help retailers be more aware of
exactly when items need to be ordered and stocked.
Badger Technologies offers several tiers of
autonomous robot models designed to patrol the
footprint of a grocer's retail store. Like Simbe's Tally,
some of Badger's robots can scan shelves for outof-stock items, price issues and incorrect product
placement. In addition to shelf scanning, Badger's robots
can also detect potential hazards on the floor such as
spills and send a notification out to the custodial team to
get potential hazards off the floor right away.
The base model from Badger just focuses on floor
hazards, and the second model focuses on shelf
scanning. Badger's third model can both scan the shelves
for out-of-place stock and watch the floor for potential
hazards, and the company's fourth solution is designed
for inspection of warehouses.
When the pandemic hit, San Diego-based Brain
Corp saw a 24% year-over-year increase in use of the
company's robotic solutions, said Joshua Baylin, Brain
Corp's senior director of strategy.
Brain Corp's solutions include autonomous floor care
machines that can detect spills and scrub the floors
in the retail environment. The machines can also be
modified with shelf-scanning technology to keep track
of inventory on shelves. Brain Corp's delivery robots can
also bring items out of the stock room and to the main
floor. Like the robotic solutions from Simbe and Badger,
Brain Corp's autonomous robots can run the store any
time of day and are programmed to navigate around
customers in their environment.
"COVID drove home that robots can have a huge
roll in mitigating some of the work that workers are
doing and unlocking some new productivity inside
those environments," Baylin said, noting that day time
usage for Brain Corp's robots is up 133% year-over-year.
"Retailers have become more comfortable with robots
in their environments and I would imagine that that
trend is going to continue over the next few years as the
robots get even better in the environment."
Rowland echoes Baylin and noted that he expects
labor automation technology to expand over the next
few years as retailers and consumers alike get used to
the idea.
"There's a point where robots make a lot of sense,"
said Rowland. "It's going to take a few years for people to
get comfortable shopping around this automation doing
things in the background, but I can imagine a day when
robots are working together checking shelves, floors,
scrubbing floors and dragging pallets out of the back
room."

SCAN-AND-GO TECHNOLOGY FOR
FAST AND EFFICIENT CHECKOUT
FutureProof Retail's scan-and-go technology is designed to give
shoppers a further customer-service oriented experience in the
grocery store. Not only does the checkout solution allow for more
employees to be available to help shoppers on the floor, but the app
customers use for checkout allows shoppers to immediately review
their instore experience and send messages to the retailer, opening up
a digital customer service platform.
FutureProof's mobile checkout works like this: shoppers download
an app that is under their retailer's brand and run by FutureProof's
software; shoppers can then go through the store and scan items
(both fresh and shelf-stable) as they pull them off the shelves and put
them into their cart; when shoppers have all of their items they go to
a designated mobile checkout area where they scan a QR code from
the app and where they can bag their items (if they didn't while they
were shopping) and leave the store.
FutureProof's software can also be tailored to offer additional
benefits outside of the scan-and-go technology, Chan said. "We
know that one size doesn't fit all," she noted. "We can connect a lot
of different technology in stores already, such as loyalty systems for
example."
Chan noted that FutureProof has a variety of partnerships to add
on different features to their software such as patron navigation that
can help shoppers locate the items they're looking for as they shop;
personalized product recommendations on the app for shoppers;
and loss and prevention security features that can include gates and
sensors that recognize when an item has not been paid for.
"As long as the solution you want to work with is open so that it can
connect with other solutions and providers, we can allow retailers
to customize because our technology is designed for an open
ecosystem," Chan said.

supermarketperimeter.com

NOVEMBER 2020 - 17


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Supermarket Perimeter - November 2020

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