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June 2022

Robotics in Retail - Winner of euRobotics Technology Transfer Award 2022

"Robotics in Retail for Up-to-Date Digital Twins of Retail Stores" is the product of cooperation between University of Bremen, Ubica Robotics GmbH, and dmTECH GmbH and was this year's winner of the euRobotics Technology Transfer Award. Congratulations to Michael Beetz (University of Bremen), Georg Bartels (Ubica Robotics GmbH), Jan-David Walter (dmTECH GmbH) who presented their innovation on 28 June 2022 at the European Robotics Forum in Rotterdam.

This retail robot solution was developed out of the research projects "REFILLS" and "knowledge4retail". 

REFILLS generated a wide impact in the retail market domain and beyond through the development of efficient logistics solutions for professional use. REFILLS robots allow a smarter shelf refilling.

The research project Knowledge4Retail developed an IT-platform for semantic digital twins for retail stores and established an ecosystem for Retail Robotic and AI around it. From the point of view of stationary retail, daily updated digital twins of retail branches represent a potentially disruptive technological innovation that does not currently exist on the market. The developed autonomous, mobile scanning robots use the latest artificial intelligence and image processing technologies to create digital twins in the form of semantic environment models. The digital twins represent the structure of the supermarket and the stocking of the shelves on a daily basis and link them with semantic knowledge. The developed perception system and the semantic map is structured as a general system, which can respond to the individual needs and circumstances of different retailers. The digital twins thus enable detailed analysis and evaluations of operational, tactical and strategic applications and optimization of the retail store.

A total of 50 robots have been sold so far in 2022 and a further 50 robots are to be delivered next year.

About euRobotics Technology Transfer Award

Successful technology transfer describes the process of converting scientific findings from research laboratories into innovative products, processes, and services by the commercial sector.  Outstanding examples of technology transfer in robot technology and automation that result from cooperative efforts between research and industry are eligible for the award.

The jury consists of a team from industry and academia:
- Fariba Khatami from EUnited aisbl
- Georg von Wichert from Siemens
- Rainer Bischoff from Intrinsic
- Herman Bruyninckx from KU Leuven
- Nicola Tomatis from BlueBotics
- Werner Kraus from Fraunhofer IPA

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