A robot takes stock
July 4, 2012 | Source: Technology Review
The Andyvision robot scans the shelves in the Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) campus store to generate a real-time interactive map of the store, which customers can 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.
While making its rounds, the robot uses a combination of image-processing and machine-learning algorithms; a database of 3-D and 2-D images showing the store’s stock; and a basic map of the store’s layout — for example, where the T-shirts are stacked, and where the mugs live. The robot has proximity sensors so that it doesn’t run into anything.