Where's the sugar? Supermarket robot creates product maps as it takes stock

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A back view of the 4D Space Genius, as it inspects the aisles(Credit: 4D Retail Technology Corp.)

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If you think that it's hard to remember where all your favorite products are in the local grocery store, well … it's not just you. In the case of large supermarkets carrying thousands of goods, even employees can have trouble remembering where everything is. That's why Toronto's 4D Retail Technology Corp. developed the stock-taking, store-mapping 4D Space Genius robot.

In less than an hour, the self-guiding Segway-based Space Genius can reportedly move along every aisle of an average-sized (43,000 sq ft/3,995 sq m) supermarket or other large store, scanning all of the products and barcodes on display in HD and 3D as it does so.

First and foremost, this allows it to create an interactive 3D map of the store, in which the location of every item is indicated. Utilizing an accompanying app, both employees and customers can use this map to locate products.

Customers can also check that the store has the product they're seeking before heading leaving their home, plus head offices can check up on their various stores via an online portal.

Additionally, similar to the Tally robot, as the Space Genius conducts its scans, it can identify problems such as out-of-stock items, missing price tags, duplicate items being displayed in more than one place, and discrepancies between advertised and in-store prices. Administrators are made aware of any such issues, so they can be addressed.

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