Zippedi: Artificial Intelligence for Retail


Álvaro Soto, UC School of Engineering

Zippedi is the first Chilean robot using Artificial Intelligence. It was designed to verify that there aren’t any mistakes in the orders or prices of products on display in stores. Zippedi zips around the aisles of supermarkets and retail stores independently, performing tasks that are typical in this industry such as ordering products and checking prices.

How does it work? Zippedi automatically creates a visual map the first time it sets foot in a grocery or retail store. It then uses this map to chart a path through the store aisles. It will automatically recalculate its route should it come across any obstacles along the way. Once it has completed its task, Zippedi will return to its base on its own for charging.

This invention is the result of a three-year study conducted by a group of scientists and graduate students in the UC Computer Science Department, led by UC engineer Álvaro Soto and financed by Corfo, Conicyt and several retail chains in Chile.

A spin off—created from this science-based innovation—has already marketed and sold the robot to three domestic and international retailers, to wit, Homecenter Sodimac, Lider and Cencosud.