Trial operation of remote-controlled robot begins at FamilyMart store

FamilyMart and Telexistence started trial operations of the TX robot Model-T and Augmented Workforce Platform to build a new store operation model using remote control robot technology.

In this trial operation, the pilot logs into the robot using a VR terminal from the TX office in Toranomon to remotely operate the Model-T installed at the FamilyMart Toshima Ecomusee Town store.

With the Model-T and the Augmented Workforce Platform (AWP), FamilyMart and TX aim to realise a completely new store operation by automating the merchandise restocking work, which requires a large number of labour-hours.

As a result, stores can operate with a smaller number of workers and enable them to recruit employees regardless of the store’s physical location. As the first step, TX will start remotely operating the restocking of PET plastic beverage bottles from the backyard storage area of the store, which makes up a relatively large portion of the workload.

Going forward, FamiyMart and TX will continue to expand the items being handled by the robot to other product categories, such as rice balls, sandwiches and bento boxes, and aim to deploy the Model-T in up to 20 stores franchised by TX by 2022.

In the meantime, TX will continue to introduce Model-T to a broader franchise network and eventually cover all FamilyMart stores. By introducing Model-T into stores, FamilyMart store staff will be able to work in multiple stores from a remote location, which will help solve challenges around labour shortage and help create new job opportunities.

It will also lead to the reduction of human-to-human contact to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Through this corporate alliance, FamilyMart will seek to further improve the convenience of its customers, reduce the operational burden on store employees and work towards realising an innovative store operation model for the new era.

TX develops remote controlled robots with artificial intelligence, with the mission to change robots, change the structure, and change the world. TX aims to develop a platform that enables people to keep working, regardless of their locations. TX adopts Microsoft Azure for the cloud system to support AWP.