Model-T, a Semi-Autonomous Remote-Controlled Robot, to be Introduced to Retail Stores and Aims to Realize Augmented Workforce Platform in the Retail Industry.

Telexistence Inc. (Headquarters: Minato-ku, Tokyo; CEO: Jin Tomioka; hereafter “TX”) today announced the development of “Model-T”, that uses the Telexistence® technology to enable the establishment of Augmented Workforce Platform (hereafter “AWP”) in the retail industry. 

Company and Model-T Introduction Movie:https://youtu.be/ReM6RDxg7-0

Currently, robots (especially industrial robots) are mainly used only in factories of automakers and general electric manufacturers. TX aims to change the situation by introducing Model-T at a low price outside the factories and letting the robot work closer to the realm of human life. In light of this purpose of TX, the name Model-T was born from the Ford Model T, sold by Ford Motor Corporation, which was the earliest affordable automobile manufactured by applying mass production technology. 

Model-T leverages the technical advantages of TX to the full extent and is equipped with (a) highly flexible hardware that enables low-cost production, (b) control software that reduces the error in the movement between the remote operator and the robot, (c) communication control that minimizes the latency in a high-load communication environment using VR, and (d) a robot hand that enables accurate and quick stocking for merchandises of various shapes. 

In the retail industry, TX aims to realize a completely new store operation by remoteizing and automating the merchandise stocking work, which requires a large number of labor-hours and is a heavy burden on humans. Store staff will be able to work safely from anywhere with robots as long as the internet is available.

[Main Features]

  1. Robot

Mounted with 22-DOF joints, the body and arm of the robot enable merchandise stocking work in a small space such as a convenience store, just as humans do. When introduced to stores, it minimizes the modification of the store environment and does not jeopardize the essential economics of the retail business.  

  1. Communication

For Model-T, TX achieved industry’s lowest level* of latency of 50 millisecond** in the end-to-end video transmission between the robot’s camera and the operator’s display. This virtually eliminates the gap between the visual sense and the physical sense, and enables accurate and intuitive operations on fast-moving objects. 

  1. Robot Hand

TX developed “Andrea-Yamaura End Effector”, a specialized robot hand for gripping various shapes of merchandise in retail stores such as convenience stores. This hand is mounted both with vacuum suction and two-finger gripper, which enables stocking work for various merchandise without changing the hand. 

*The industry’s lowest latency using the international standard video encoding method H.265/HEVC for remote-controlled robots (as of July 9, 2020, according to KDDI Research, Inc.). The actual latency varies depending on the communication environment.

**The time, including network delay, from when the image is input to the camera of the robot to when it is displayed on the operator’s display. Millisecond is 1/1000 second.

Model-T will be introduced first in the convenience store industry. Based on the corporate alliance with FamilyMart Co., Ltd., which was announced earlier, Model-T will start an experimental merchandise stocking at one of the FamlyMart stores in Tokyo this summer. Also, as announced by Lawson Co., Ltd., Model-T will be performing merchandise stocking work on a daily basis at the Lawson Model-T Tokyo Port City Takeshiba store.

In the near future, TX will promote the introduction of Model-T to other retail segments such as supermarkets domestically and internationally, in parallel with the deployment to multiple convenience stores. 

[About Telexistence] 

TX is a robotics company that develops remote controlled robots with artificial intelligence, with the mission to change robots, change the structure, and change the world. Gathered by high expertise professionals from all over the world, the nationality of employees exceeds 10. The development team consistently develops robotic hardware, software and automation technology in-house. With the semi-autonomous telexistence robots and AWP, TX aims to develop a platform that enables people to provide their workforce regardless of their locations. 

[Company Profile]

Company Name : Telexistence inc.

Address : 2-19-5 Nishi-Shinbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo

Representative: : Jin Tomioka, CEO

Founded : January 23, 2017

Website : https://tx-inc.com

[Inquiries] 

Email : info@tx-inc.com

Contact Name : Aya Ishikawa

[Press Kit for News Organizations]

https://drive.google.com/file/d/13BpagV1ehrLb5WGfOj8pAuwAy8cKLEV2/view?usp=sharing

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