As the coronavirus forced governments to shut down large parts of the economy, ordering workers to stay home, one of our first questions was: where are the robots when you need them?
So we invited Brad Bogolea to come on M4Edge. Brad is the co-founder and CEO of Simbe Robotics and they produce…well…robots. Their most well-known robot is named Tally, and has already been widely deployed across major retail chains, especially grocery stores. Tally goes up and down the aisles and uses image recognition to take a real time inventory of the items on the shelves.
The information Tally collects is then used to improve supply chain management, but also to gain insights on consumer behavior and sales trends.
Improving inventory management and supply chain management is crucial today, now that supply chains have come under enormous stress because of the Coronavirus disruption. In this podcast, Brad tells us what he is seeing in the retail sector today, and how Simbe and its robots are helping grocery chains meet our needs in this difficult time.
The value of Simbe’s robots extends well beyond the current emergency: it is estimated that in normal times, inefficiencies in inventory management cost the US retail industry over 1 trillion dollars!
We also discuss with Brad other areas where robots will eventually be able to contribute, and the technical and psychological aspects of human-robot interaction.
Up until a few weeks ago we all feared the robots would take all the jobs. Today we almost wish they had taken them already. It’s a great time to understand better how robots and humans can work together, and how we can reach a balance that makes us all better off, including by making our economy more resilient to shocks like the one we currently face.
Enjoy the episode, share it, review it on Apple Podcasts, and thanks for being curious!