Walmart is to deploy automated robots from Bossa Nova Robotics in 50 US stores, following a pilot.
Trials have been taking place in stores in Arkansas, Pennsylvania and California, with the robots used for “repeatable, predictable and manual” tasks like scanning shelves for out-of-stock items, incorrect prices and wrong or missing labels. The 2-ft tall robots are equipped with a tower and a series of cameras. They collect data which is then passed on to employees, who proceed to stock items and correct mistakes. According to Walmart’s Chief Technology Officer, Jeremy King, they are up to three times faster than human workers and remove any risk of human error.
“As with anything we roll-out to our stores, the feedback from associates and customers will guide us in how and where we use this technology in the future,” Walmart says.