Japanese Stores Have Introduced Automated Shelf-Stocking Robots – Powered By AI


The world is becoming more and more revolutionized with every passing day, and the huge interest of today’s generation in technology makes it even more compelling and enables engineers to explore new avenues. In addition to this, robotics has emerged to be in the scientific mainstream in today’s world and has captured a large market globally. Seeing the potential, a convenience store in Japan, named Family Mart, has finally brought the shelf-stocking robots into action. The robots have been designed to function on artificial intelligence, thanks to microelectronics. Moreover, the robots would also help considerably in dealing with the day-to-day store operations amid the labor shortage.

Family Mart is known to be the second largest store chain in Japan. Along with this, many other major businesses are facing a severe shortage of workers, and it is expected that robots are going to take over the system. To that end, Family Mart has collaborated with Tokyo-based robotics company Telexistence to put hundreds of robots into its different branches across the country. These AI-powered robots will be responsible for restocking the drinks in refrigerators and doing other associated tasks.

The robot, christened “TX SCARA” (Selective Compliance Assembly Robot Arm), has been built on the platform known as NVIDIA Jetson AI and is based on Microsoft Azure Cloud Computing software for carrying out the tasks. As per Telexistence, “Each TX SCARA robot can replace one to three hours of human labor per day, per convenience store, with that spare time spent in areas where human work is even more important, like customer service and shop floor enhancement.”

Telexistence CEO, Jin Tomioka, said, “Telexistence’s robots will become a powerful influence, providing a virtually inexhaustible supply of new labor. The new surplus resources will be appropriately redistributed through market mechanisms, and in the long run, this can lead to the transition of human society being significantly augmented by automated labor. ” Furthermore, it has been reported that these robots have the potential to work efficiently 98% of the time. However, there are some instants when they require human support in terms of controlling them, and that accounts for only 2% of the time.

As of now, these robots have been introduced to about 300 stores across Japan, but the company has big plans to roll them out if everything goes according to plan. You would be amazed to know that America is also thinking of introducing these robots in its stores across the US, and for this, Telexistence and Microsoft have come into collaboration as well.


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