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Robot watches store shelves so you don't leave empty-handed

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Few things are more annoying while shopping than finding out that a store hasn't bothered to stock what you want... assuming you know to look for it in the first place. A robot may just come to your rescue, though. Simbe Robotics is launching an autonomous robot, Tally, that scans store shelves and lets workers know when goods are running out or misplaced. Shops no longer have to make a human trudge through the aisles -- they only have to send someone out when supplies are low. Tally can work during normal business hours, and it even has a Roomba-like charging dock so that it can top itself up in mid-shift.

The robot is still in testing with "several" North American retailers, and it could be a while before your favorite shop has an automaton roaming the halls. This could go a long way toward improving your shopping experience if it catches on, however. You'd be much less likely to see empty shelves, and you'd have one less reason to ask staff for a time-consuming inventory check.

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