What if everyone in the world work from their home including essential workers like retail stores and supermarkets. Sounds strange right? In our current situation, social distancing and self-isolation are inevitable. Instead of giving everything into the AI’s hand, industries trying to get humans and robots to work together.
In the same vein, Tokyo, Japan-based robotics company ‘Telexistence’ introduced its shelf-stacker robot in a FamilyMart convenience store as a trial. Model-T is a semi-autonomous robot controlled by human workers through VR-headset and controller.
Could the VR-controlled robot staff be the beginning of retail store automation?
However, it got the name Model-T from the Ford Model T car. Their aim is to automate the merchandise stocking work in the retail industry which requires a large number of labor-hours and workload. Moreover, the arms of this VR-controlled robot staff particularly designed for merchandise stocking work. It also can able to work smoothly into small spaces such as a convenience store.
In addition, the arm features both vacuum suction and two-finger gripper. So it can pic and hold anything like rice balls, sandwiches, and even bento boxes. Model-T has an end-to-end video transmission with a speed of 50 milliseconds. So it minimizes the latency and reduces the imperfection in the movement between the operator and the robot.
Model-T have created an augmented workforce platform (AWP) that allows the store staff to work safely from anywhere as long as the internet is available. As of their press release, they have a plan to deploy the Model-T in up to 20 stores franchised by Telexistence by 2022.