AI, Computer Vision and Robotics to Deliver Long-Term ROI for Patient Brick and Mortar Retailers

The high-cost barrier associated with AI, computer vision and robotics will ultimately be overcome by the potential for these technologies to offset the inherent disadvantages facing physical stores today,

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Robots in Retail Environments Pivotal to Filling Information and Automation Gaps

Walmart is using shelf-scanning robots to audit its stores

James Vincent for The Verge: The retailing giant says the robots' introduction won't lead to job losses, and that the company wants to save employees from carrying out tasks that are "repeatable, predictable, and manual."

Pepper the 'emotional robot' makes its way to Silicon Valley

Lauren Goode for The Verge:  Pepper, the humanoid robot created by Aldebaran Robotics and SoftBank Mobile, is slowly making its way to the US — and it’s starting in Silicon Valley. The robot was seen in action this week at the b8ta store in Palo Alto, California, a gadget shop launched by former Nest employees. Pepper was on a demo loop at the store, so we weren’t able to fully interact with it. But the idea behind Pepper is that it’s supposed to interpret and respond to a variety of customer needs. Using a combination of 2D and 3D cameras in its eyes and mouth, plus four multi-directional microphones, Pepper is able to "read" four human emotions — happiness, joy, sadness, and anger — and respond accordingly. It rolls up to you, raises its hands in greeting when you introduce yourself, and turns its head toward you when you move or talk. It is toylike and adorable.   Cont'd...

There's a five-story vending machine dispensing used cars in Nashville

From Mashable: That's right; online used car retailer Carvana has officially unveiled its first vending machine completely stocked with cars. Standing at five stories tall, the coin-operated (yes, really) glass tower vending machine can house as many as 20 used cars at a time. The facility also includes a welcome center and three customer delivery bays to which the cars are dispensed... ( full story )  

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Universal Robots Add a Sense of Touch in New e-Series Cobots with  Built-in Force/Torque Sensor and Re-Designed User Interface

Universal Robots Add a Sense of Touch in New e-Series Cobots with Built-in Force/Torque Sensor and Re-Designed User Interface

With the new e-Series cobot line, Universal Robots raises the bar for cobots, adding unique new features while significantly strengthening the four core principles defining collaborative robots: fast set-up, easy programming, flexible deployment, and safe operation. With a new built-in, tool-centric Force/Torque sensor the e-Series is ready to take on applications requiring force control right out of the box. A repeatability of 30 micron means the new cobots are suitable for very precise finishing, assembly and electronics tasks. A re-designed user interface decreases cognitive load and expedites program development, while a new externally accessible, 500Hz system bus enables more complex motion control algorithms or profiles.