Shaping the future of retail: Ahold Delhaize expands into robotics with TU Delft

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Delft the Netherlands November 9 2018 - Ahold Delhaize announces today that it is partnering with Delft University of Technology TU Delft in the Netherlands to expand the companys 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 - YESDelft - 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 Professor Martijn Wisse Director of the TU Delft Robotics Institute, and Supervisor of AIRLab Delft said At AIRLab Delft scientists will study how employees can teach their robots to do repetitive tasks or develop methods to optimize the motion and coordination of mobile robots and of delivery vehicles. This collaboration with Ahold Delhaize allows us to solve real-world challenges by focusing on fundamental issues in robotics such as how to learn and safely execute tasks in the context of uncertainty how to safely navigate and interact in environments shared with humans, and how to efficiently and effectively plan the routes of fleets of last-mile delivery We are very excited Frans Muller, President and CEO of Ahold Delhaize said The rapid advancements in AI and robotics provide us with significant opportunities to make everyday shopping even easier for our customers and develop new solutions for our warehouses and last-mile delivery. Working together with academic partners such as TU Delft will enable Ahold Delhaize and AIRLab to shape a technology-driven world in a responsible way It helps us become a frontrunner in AI research and development for retail and ultimately build capabilities that are scalable for the group About AIRLab Ahold Delhaizes AIRLab is part of the Innovation Center for Artificial Intelligence a research platform that unites universities and businesses and serves as an engine for AI talent in the Netherlands In AIRLab's research center in Amsterdam scientists conduct research into the responsible use of algorithms These algorithms can be used for example to make product recommendations to consumers or to create transparent AI technology for managing goods flow by taking into account local weather conditions to improve availability The research is underway at Albert Heijn and bolcom two brands of Ahold Delhaize and can be applied in other Ahold Delhaize brands in the US and Europe Ahold Delhaize expands into roboticsThis announcement is distributed by West Corporation on behalf of West Corporation clientsThe issuer of this announcement warrants that they are solely responsible for the content accuracy and originality of the information contained thereinSource Ahold Delhaize via Globenewswire br/>

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Thomson Reuters: 08:30 GMT Friday 9th November 2018

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