Simbe Robotics Announces RFID Scanning Capabilities 

 July 26, 2018

By  Mike Oitzman

Simbe leverages machine learning in its RFID reader to automate inventory management


Simbe Robotics announced today that they have added new data acquisition capabilities to their mobile robot platform. The Tally Robot by Simbe can now scan RFID tags as it moves throughout a facility.

Since their inception, RFID-enabled Tally robots have scanned over 150,000 products of varying kinds, navigated safely in different retail environments and provided valuable inventory data to retailers to help optimize their product flow.

Simbe Robot

The Tally robot by Simbe

"Over the past 9 months, Simbe has successfully completed domestic and international pilots to test Tally’s RFID integration with leading global retailers, and has moved to the perpetual deployment phase. RFID-enabled Tally robots are currently in scale deployments with several international retailers.", said Simbe Founder and CEO Brad Bogolea in a recent interview with The Mobile Robot Guide.

In describing how the RFID scanning process works, Bogolea said: "Tally moves down aisles at about human walking speed or slower depending on how densely tags are packed on shelves, reading tags at a rate of up to 700 per second at greater than 99% accuracy. It travels past one side of the aisle, then typically passes back on the other side to capture products on all shelves. It can read tags from floor level to 5 meters high and utilizes machine learning to precisely identify where tags are located.". Bogolea went on to comment, "By incorporating RFID into Tally, we provide a more efficient solution than handheld RFID wands, and a more economical solution than multiple stationary/mounted RFID readers in store."

"The Tally robot can read RFID tags from floor level to 5 meters high and utilizes machine learning to precisely identify where tags are located.", SImbe CEO Brad Bogolea. #mobilerobots #retailsolution @therobotguide

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The current generation of Tally robot was designed to operate brick & mortar stores, navigate their tight spaces, high traffic environments and capture tags in a myriad of fixtures (shelves, racks, boxes, bins, etc.). 

With Tally RFID, retailers benefit from:

  • Precise storewide inventory audits and regular cycle counts
  • Location and identification of misplaced products at sub-meter accuracy

When combined with Tally’s Computer Vision capabilities, retailers also benefit from:

  • Visual audits of merchandise
  • Out of stock items or low inventory alerts
  • Price tag validation

Simbe provides a set of standard web service interface mechanisms to publish inventory, cycle count, product location, and image analysis data. This provides easy integration with existing inventory management software solutions.

“Brick and mortar retail is changing rapidly. Innovative technologies, like RFID and computer vision, are starting to become more mainstream as retailers think about how they can optimize in-store operations,” said Durgesh Tiwari, Simbe’s Vice President of Research and Development, Hardware. “Tally’s ability to read RFID is providing unprecedented product and inventory insights by harmoniously using RFID and computer vision. This can ultimately lead to a new paradigm for retail environments, with Simbe at the forefront.”

Compared to the other autonomous inventory management robot solutions on the market, Tally provides the following differentiators:

  • Tally is self-docking and fully autonomous, meaning it requires no human intervention from Simbe or in-store associates.
  • Tally is the only robot of its kind that incorporates both computer vision and RFID reading capabilities and has been purposely designed for front of store retail environments.
  • Simbe provides an integrated full stack solution to their clients. They build all the hardware and software to specifically fit client's needs...no 3rd party software or solution is required.

About the author 

Mike Oitzman

Mike Oitzman brings 25 years of product management and product marketing experience to the role of publisher and editor for Mobile Robot Guide. Mike is a respected expert in the mobile robot market and is a frequent panel leader and speaker at events and tradeshows.

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