Sep 29, 2021 - Business
Meet Tally, Hy-Vee's new autonomous robot
Tally, an autonomous robot at Hy-Vee
Tally, an autonomous robot, hangs out at the Ankeny Hy-Vee. Photo courtesy of Simbe Robotics

Hy-Vee is piloting an autonomous robot at five of its stores, including Ankeny and Altoona.

Why it matters: You may run into Tally while grabbing groceries. (Don't worry, it's polite.)

How it works: Tally scans store aisles two to four times a day, capturing high-quality images of shelves.

  • Those images go through an algorithm software that notifies Hy-Vee about low inventory, misplaced products or mispriced items.
  • If Tally sees a customer in the aisle, it'll loiter and wait for its turn. If the aisle is busy, Tally will move on.
  • When it's done, the robot docks itself at a charging station, similar to a Roomba.

Between the lines: The information Tally gathers helps stores more accurately forecast sales and cuts labor spent tracking inventory, said Brad Bogolea, CEO of Simbe Robotics, which produces the robot.

💭 Our thought bubble: It gives a whole new meaning to a helpful smile in every aisle.

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