Decathlon introduces robots to the bike shop floor

Technology is not yet at the stage where robots can sell bikes to customers on the shop floor (as far as CI.N knows), but Decathlon has begun experimenting with AI robots in-store to enhance the shopping experience for customers.

Decathlon‘s San Francisco shop has partnered with SImbe Robotics to bring ‘Tally’ to the shop to manage product inventory, track product flow – and break the ice with customers.

Crucially, the robot has given time to human staffers to focus on customers rather than humdrum inventory jobs, Decathlon said.

The European sports and cycle retail giant Decathlon has only recently opened bricks and mortar shops in the USA. As the firm has been setting up localised software and logistics systems, staff have been tasked with manual inventory jobs.

Using on-board RFID tech, Tally is an automated shelf scanning robot that tracks inventory as products are moved around the store by curious customers, freeing up staff to focus on customers.

Tally will efficiently track trends over time, providing heatmaps and data on where specific products sell best in-store. Decathlon has a video:

Robots may currently be beyond the grasp (and budget) of your average bike shop, but AI and tracking software is deeply embedded in the cycle industry, from Epos and e-commerce software that helps pinpoint sales trends to cutting edge ‘always-on’ sensors delivering data for cycle advocates. And then there is the advent of smart bikes, tracking when bikes are due for servicing, among other things.