Robotics

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13th January 2022
Tom Anstee

MetraLabs has been selected to present the inventory robot TORY at the Innovation Lab of NRF 2022: Retail's Big Show in New York.  

As a major international retail conference and expo, NRF reaches a wide audience of nearly 30,000 attendees, and those interested can see MetraLabs and the TORY inventory robot live and in action from January 16-18 at booth #57. The TORY exhibited there is also one of 250 that MetraLabs will install at Kmart Australia by 2022.  

The DECATHLON Group has also decided to use inventory robots in a part of its stores to reduce the non added value task of its employees and let them focus on customer advice and accompaniment. The first TORY began its work in April 2021 in DECATHLON Stockport, UK, where it has impressed with its skills and benefits for employees and customers during the more than 250 kilometers it has already driven. Meanwhile, several robots are now driving in various DECATHLON stores all around the world. The TORYs have already successfully completed more than 1400 inventory runs there since their launch.   

TORY is used by DECATHLON for autonomous inventory in various stores, improving internal store operations and increasing efficiency. Using RFID technology, the autonomous robot replaces conventional inventory and through daily trips it helps to record the current stock of goods so that restocking on the shelves can be taken care of in time.   

The advantages of the inventory robot are also recognized by Hervé D’Halluin (Leader RFID and Traceability United at DECATHLON): "For several years now, we have been working on various solutions aimed at increasing the accuracy of our stocks by increasing the number of inventories done while reducing the impact for our team members. Decathlon's teams are proud to be able to count on RFID Robot solutions as TORY and thus give back hours to the retail while improving the accuracy of our stock! "   

The robot navigates completely safely and autonomously, and its 3D obstacle avoidance makes it ready for use even in dynamic environments.  

What technology makes it possible?  

RFID (radio-frequency identification) works with electromagnetic waves to communicate and provide each product’s unique identifier from up to several meters away, in hundredths of a second, and even through boxes.  Each Decathlon product are fitted with RFID tags containing this unique code, and the robot is equipped with a reader and special antennas that can read RFID Tag informationas soon as it is within the range of the electromagnetic field.  

MetraLabs has been developing robots for the retail industry for almost 15 years, helping to automate and optimize processes. The use speaks for itself: the robot captures almost all tagged goods, rising-up widely the speed of a manual inventory.

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