Ahold Delhaize expands into robotics with TU Delft
Ahold Delhaize is partnering with Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) to expand the company’s Artificial Intelligence for Retail (AIR) Lab. The expansion comprises a robotics research program and test site for developing state-of-the-art innovations in the retail industry. This is the first expansion of Ahold Delhaize’s AIRLab, an industry-academic collaboration set up to conduct research into AI. By expanding its focus to robotics, AIRLab Delft will further drive innovations for daily business while building more knowledge of the intersection among retail, AI and robotics.
Based in RoboValley, a robotics research center developed by TU Delft Robotics Institute, a team of international researchers will explore robotic solutions that can be applied throughout the retail supply chain, from warehouses and stores to customers. To ensure these explorations result in tangible solutions, Ahold Delhaize will open a test site where researchers can work with partners, students and start-ups, supported by the technology incubator of TU Delft – YES!Delft – to build and test prototypes of robotic solutions. At the test site, which will be operational in early 2019, they will explore how robotics can be deployed in a retail setting, how robotic grippers can handle delicate items such as fruits and vegetables, or how to improve image-recognition of products and packaging.