July 2, 2012
Carnegie Melon Researchers Develop Retail Robot
|Andyvision, a prototype robot built and tested at Carnegie Mellon University, scans retail shelves to generate a real-time interactive map of the store, and allows customers to browse via an in-store screen. At the same time, the robot performs a detailed inventory check, identifying each item on the shelves, and alerting employees if stock is low or if an item has been misplaced.|
iRobot also recently announced it was reorganizing to take on the challenge of retail robotics.
AndyVision is equipped with a Kinect Sensor along with a combination of image-processing and machine-learning algorithms.
The robot’s on-board computer comes with a database of 3D scans and 2D images of the store’s products, as well as a basic map of the store’s layout.
A day for AndyVision includes autonomously strolling around the store while checking all the shelves for low stock or misplaced items.
At the same time, the same information is fed to a large touchscreen interface that customers can use to browse a virtual version of the store.
AndyVision has been rolling around the Carnegie Mellon University campus store since mid-May. The robot has helped the staff increase their knowledge of where everything is.
By this fall, the researchers hope to find out if the robot has done anything to actually increase the store’s business. The scientists also hope to test out their AndyVision system in several other local stores after they have finished their initial campus store trial.
SOURCE PC World
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