To compensate for the lack of staff, stores in Japan use “TX SCARA”, a small robot with clip-like hands. It was developed by Telexistence, a Tokyo-based company; in the words of CEO Jin Tomioka, it was designed to “automate all the repetitive and boring work done by humans”.
“…that’s the direction we’re going. And the best way to do that is to use robots,” added Tomioka.
Here’s everything you need to know about TX SCARA:
(1.) TX SCARA has an artificial intelligence (AI), named GORDON, that knows when and where products should be kept on the shelf. At the end of its mechanical arm, the robot has a hand with which it picks up objects.
(2.) The machine is mainly used in “conbini”, or Japanese convenience stores. Within these stores, guided by GORDON, he collects bottles, cans, etc., and places them on shelves (mostly refrigerated).
(3.) Telexistence claims that TX SCARA can restock up to 1,000 bottles and cans per day. However, its price has not yet been revealed.
(4.) TX SCARA, along with other Telexistence robots, are designed for stores that don’t have to change their layout or routine. These use Nvidia GPU-accelerated AI to enable remote control of Azure, the cloud computing service operated by Microsoft.
(5.) Out of 16,000 FamilyMart outlets in Japan, the machine is already used in 300. Overall, the country has more than 50,000 conbini.
(With AP inputs)