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RFID Inventory Robot TORY Celebrates First Year in Service

TORY, the world’s first RFID inventory robot, is celebrating his first jubilee in Germany.

Created by robotics company MetraLabs GmbH, TORY measures retail stock and assists shoppers at brick-and-mortar locations. Adler Modemärkte AG, a fashion retail company, debuted the robot at its store in Erfurt in December 2015. Since then, TORY has improved the location’s inventory accuracy and consumer engagement.

“TORY takes stock at Adler autonomously, dependably and even more frequently than the store staff in the market would be able to afford,” Adler Modemärkte AG general manager and head of IT Roland Leitz said. “As a result, we were able to optimize the availability of merchandise in the store as well as the order processes.”

Since its first day of operation, TORY has scanned more than five million items using its RFID capabilities. The robot also achieved a 99 percent read accuracy, which is superior to traditional logistics processes. Navigation software also enables TORY to move autonomously around the store without bumping into things and locate shoppers who may have product questions.

TORY also fills the gap between human and machine, serving as a resource for store employees. Retail workers are not replaced, rather they work with the robot. Furthermore, store employees also have time to interact with shoppers more, since TORY is mostly accountable for inventory management.

Since TORY’s launch, Adler Modemärkte AG has also sent more robot models to its other stores in Haibach, Rüsselsheim, Mutterstadt and Limburg. The company aims to incorporate more TORYs in Germany next year.