5G-Enabled Autonomous Robots Are Coming to Retail
AT&T and Badger Technologies are working together to accelerate retail automation using autonomous robots with 5G wireless networking capabilities.
The robots empower retailers to improve operational efficiencies and customer experiences by identifying out-of-stock, mispriced or misplaced inventory as well as store hazards. These advanced mobile data collection systems can fill major gaps in the collection and sharing of vital in-store data and images, but also can tax a store’s existing WiFi network.
To better enable seamless, uninterrupted network connectivity, the AT&T Foundry is testing 5G connectivity with Badger Technologies’ robots in a multi-access edge computing (MEC) environment. The goal is to demonstrate how 5G using millimeter wave spectrum and edge computing could provide Badger Technologies and retailers with the lower latency and high throughput required to process and share vast amounts of data while running concurrently with other in-store network applications.
“5G is an important next step to helping ensure shared visibility across critical inventory, POS and operational systems,” said Tim Rowland, CEO of Badger Technologies. “Working with AT&T enables us to better support our retail customers by delivering information faster to increase store efficiencies, improve customer service and boost profits.”
AT&T’s multi-access edge computing solutions could also help Badger Technologies increase hyper-local data processing by providing a more private network connection than typically associated with in-store WiFi. This gives Badger Technologies more control over what data travels beyond the walls of the store and what data stays onsite, which effectively addresses mounting privacy and security concerns among retailers.
“In-building cellular solutions, including 5G and edge computing, are critical drivers of digital transformation for retailers,” said Mo Katibeh, chief marketing officer, AT&T Business. “These technologies will eventually equip robots with both the compute power and lower latency needed to increase revenue, improve the in-store experience, and elevate employees to better assist customers.”