Fuji Corporation said it has used its know-how from years of experience in robotics and automation to develop a solution for automatically moving wheeled carts in retail stores. The solution aims to handle multiple types of existing carts that are typically used in retail stores, and requires no changes to existing store layout or infrastructure. The company said it plans to demonstrate this under-development solution at the NRF 2023 Retail Big Show in New York in January 2023.
To evaluate the practicality and capability of the robot, Fuji said testing began in July 2022 at selected stores of Cainz, a top home improvement center chain in Japan.
In the retail industry, goods are delivered regularly to stores from distribution centers. Various technologies are currently being developed that promise to automate this distribution, such as self-driving trucks. However, once goods arrive inside the store, there is a lot of manual labor involved in getting the goods all the way to the shelves. Retailers said they would like their staff to focus on activities that really add to the customer experience of shopping. Automating the work of moving carts to the shelves after-hours frees staff to focus on improving customer experience, Fuji said.
Once tags have been added to carts, the robot can recognize them automatically and move the goods wherever in the store they are needed. By operating in the dark after hours, overall productivity is enhanced.
To learn more, visit the Fuji website here.