Robot assistance coming to St. Louis-area Schnucks

Schnucks is looking to add a little bit more help to their stores – this time in the form of a robot.

Schnucks will collaborate with Simbe Robotics, Inc. to test pilot an aisle-roving robot named Tally. The testing of Tally will begin at three St. Louis area stores beginning July 31 and will last for six weeks.

According to a press release, Tally will be tasked with scanning store aisles three times a day to assist employees with keeping the stores stocked. Additionally, the aisle-roving robot will ensure that each store product is placed correctly with its appropriate shelf tag.

Tally’s six-week long test-program will start Monday at three different St. Louis-area Schnucks – Schnucks Woods Mill, Schnucks Kirkwood, and Schnucks Richmond Heights.

According to Dave Steck, vice president of IT – Infrastructure at Schucks, Tally will conduct its daily storewide scans in the morning, midday, and evening.

“The data that Tally collects will be sent to Simbe, which will do on-the-spot analysis and provide us with the information we can share with our vendor partners and teammates throughout our organization to help us have the right products at the right time for our customers,” Steck said in a written statement. “We’re starting Tally’s pilot with a focus on in-stock position, but we’re hopeful that Tally may open up a world of other possibilities with shelf data it collects.”

According to Paul Simon, the spokesman for Schucks, the robot has different sensors that allow it to detect objects including people. It’s capable of differentiating between a moving object and a fixed object and is programmed to not interfere with shoppers.

Additionally, when asked if the Tally program could replace Schnucks’ employees if successful, Simon assured Tally would only assist employees not replace them.

“Tally is pure innovation, designed to help provide our teammates with real-time information to do their jobs better and more efficiently,” Simon said. “Our teammates have always been and will continue to be the heart of our operations.”

St. Louis-based Schnucks operates 100 stores in the Midwest, more than a dozen of them in St. Louis County.

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