Aug. 7 (UPI) -- A St. Louis-area grocery store on Monday introduced customers to a new employee who doesn't take bathroom breaks or need to call in sick -- Tally the robot.
The Schnucks Markets grocery store in Richmond Height, Mo., was the first of three locations expected to test the new technology in the coming weeks. If all goes well, Tally the robot could be showing up in supermarkets across the country.
Tally, which is made by Sime Robotics, is a slim, black-and-white autonomous robot that moves around the store similar to a Roomba vacuum. Its task is to scan shelves to check prices, and alert employees if products need to be restocked or are incorrectly placed.
"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 the shelf data it collects," said Dave Steck, Schnucks vice president of IT-Infrastructure.
The testing is expected to last six weeks and will include two other Schnucks stores -- one in Chesterfield, Mo., and another in St. Louis.
"We're excited to see what this partnership brings," Steck said. "This is just one of many ways that Schnucks is staying at the forefront of technology to enhance our customers' shopping experiences."