Vol. 2 | Third Quarter 2019 View in browser

The quarterly Retail Tech Bulletin, published by Platt Retail Institute and the Retail Analytics Council, includes news and case studies regarding retail robotics, artificial intelligence, and related retail technologies. The Bulletin also includes updates on Retail Analytics Council activities, the Retail Robotics Initiative, and the Retail AI Lab at Northwestern University.

Robot Supply Will Not Keep Pace With Robot Demand

“It is the best of times, it is the worst of times” for robotics and retail, to paraphrase Charles Dickens. Right now, robotics is becoming the buzzword in many industries. Only a few years ago, retailers had the pick of the crop of emerging robotics companies. Very few in the retail industry were ready to seize the advantage. We are all familiar with some of those case studies, via early adopters Amazon, Walmart, Kroger, Target, and Lowes, who have all showcased trial deployments of various robots in retail. 
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The Cerebral Side of Robotics

From warehouse floors to grocery aisles, autonomous robots are gaining a lot of attention. They safely move parcels, assemble components, or spot weld with unmatched dexterity, keenly perform repetitive tasks, and have a tireless work ethic.

Still, robots should not be judged just by their strength and endurance. They have a cerebral side, too. Multipurpose robots in the retail sector are being taught to traverse store aisles safely alongside shoppers while collecting inventory and safety data to improve operational efficiencies and enhance the shopping experience. 
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Retail Robotics and AI Conference: Five Retail Technology Trends to Watch

The second annual Retail Analytics Council Retail Robotics and AI Conference was held on April 11th and April 12th, bringing together more than 125 senior-level retailers and academics for a unique educational event addressing current and future robot and AI trends. 

Retail technology is constantly evolving, and innovations may remain in development for a very long time. Many of the hottest retail technologies are iterations of earlier technology that finally is reaching an adoption tipping point.

Here are five key retail technology trends conference panelists identified.

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RAC Retail Advisory Board Updates


RAC Retail Advisory Board Members on the Move

Chris Chapo, promoted to Senior VP Customer Data and Analytics, GAP Inc.

Varadheesh Chennakrishnan to CIO, Joann Stores.

Mark Patton (above) to VP and CTO, Studio Movie Grill.

Rowland Honored in Retail Movers and Shakers List

RAC Retail Robotics Initiative Advisory Board member Tim Rowland, CEO at Badger Technologies, was recently honored in RIS’ third annual “Influentials: Top Movers and Shakers in Retail.” The list highlights the retail executives, analysts, and solution providers who are shaping the retail landscape and developing and deploying cutting-edge technology. 

Target VP Join RAC Retail Advisory Board

We are pleased to announce that Albino Feijo, Vice President for Operational Excellence at Target, recently joined the RAC Retail Advisory Board.  Feijo has more than 20 years of global business experience leading organizations to profitable growth in consumer goods and in diversified assembly industries.

RAC Summer Robotics Research Project

Robots are increasingly being deployed in retail environments, however, the deployment of robots to perform front-of-store activities is a very recent occurrence.

This summer, our research will be focused on investigating Robotic-Generated Data Standards and Robot-to-Robot Communication Protocols. This research will be presented for industry input on October 31, 2019, in Evanston, Illinois, and published early in 2020.

Currently confirmed sponsoring firms include:

Get More Info on Participation and Sponsorship

The Robotic Industries Association is hosting the first-ever Autonomous Mobile Robot Conference on September 17 in Louisville, Kentucky.

From logistics to manufacturing to retail, Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) are the perfect tool for dynamic environments and on-demand automation. AMRs are already playing significant roles in increasing productivity.

TAKE ACTION: Gain actionable insights about how to deploy AMRs in your facility.

SURVEY THE MARKET: Understand how AMRs will change business across multiple sectors.

STAY AHEAD: Learn about upcoming mobile robot technologies and safety standards.

The event features a whos who of industry-leading speakers, including Melonee Wise of Fetch Robotics, Josh Cloer of Mobile Industrial Robots (MiR), Matt Wicks of Honeywell Intelligrated, and Matt Rendall of OTTO Motors.

The event will also host AMR exhibits, showcasing the latest technologies.

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Platt Retail Institute

P.O. Box 158, Hinsdale, IL 60522 USA
United States

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