Groceries: First to invent a restocking robot that can restock grocery shelves. When the system is...

...installed, all the grocery shelves are emptied (possibly just one aisle at a time) then, with all grocery aisles already mapped out for item placement, they are stocked by the robots.  When a customer purchases enough of an item to warrant a restock, the system activates one of the robots in the storage area and has it find a box of the item, open the box, withdraw the necessary number, close the box, reshelf the box, go out into the store, go to where the item is shelved, remove all items currently on the shelf, clean the shelf, stock the new items in back (all labels facing the aisle), stock the old items (all labels facing the aisle) in front of the new items, and then the robot returns to and parks in the storage area.  The system has the robot do periodic complete scanning of all aisles to keep the system's inventory count accurate and current as well as make sure all stocks are nicely displayed, removes misplaced items, and reshelves misplaced items.  Relocating, removing, and introducing new shelf items, placement, etc. can be done by way of adjusting the shelf maps.

To win this challenge (and Future Challenges #1 through #6), the program must include a learning algorithm, must transmit at least once per operational day what it has learned to the company that developed the program, and download updates from that central server.

Future Challenges: First above robotic restocking system to handle:

1) Frozen goods.

2) Bakery goods.

3) Produce.

4) Meat.

First major grocery store chain (1,000 stores or more) to install and use the above system in:

5) One of its stores.

6) All of its stores.

If you would like to discuss this challenge with others, click here to go to this challenge's discussion forum.

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