Robotics

Walmart's shelf-scanning robots to patrol the aisles of 50 stores

Walmart's shelf-scanning robot...
Walmart places a big emphasis on the time its robots will save its employees
Walmart places a big emphasis on the time its robots will save its employees
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Self-checkouts have been around for years now, but the truth is there a other repetitive tasks that could conceivably be carried out by machines
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Self-checkouts have been around for years now, but the truth is there a other repetitive tasks that could conceivably be carried out by machines
Walmart's shelf-scanning-robot in action
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Walmart's shelf-scanning-robot in action
Walmart places a big emphasis on the time its robots will save its employees
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Walmart places a big emphasis on the time its robots will save its employees

Machines already play a part in the shopping experience for many, with self-checkout facilities popping up in supermarkets and department stores all over the world. They now continue their push into retail, with Walmart expanding its trials of robots that roam the aisles for sections in need of attention.

Self-checkouts have been around for years now, but the truth is there a other repetitive tasks that could conceivably be carried out by machines. Way back in 2015, Simbe Robotics took aim at at this with a fully autonomous robot called Tally that rolls around stores using a sensor array to make sure shelves are fully stocked and that items are correctly priced, placed and labelled.

Walmart's shelf-scanning-robot in action
Walmart's shelf-scanning-robot in action

Those are the exact responsibilities of Walmart's robot. The company has tested out the technology at a handful of stores in Arkansas, Pennsylvania and California, and based on the results, it is now rolling it out to a total of 50 stores.

Walmart places a big emphasis on the time the technology will save its employees, freeing them up to do other stuff like serve customers and sell merchandise (and look for other jobs?). It will use the trials to gather feedback from both employees and customers and then make a decision from there on how to use the technology moving forward.

You can check out the promo video below.

Source: Walmart

Walmart Tests Automation to Scan Shelves, Free up Time

4 comments
Deres
It seems to me fixed cameras would be far simpler than a robot moving between customers especially at peak hours ...
Wolf0579
The rich need to know that they will have to be taxed at higher rates, in order to pay for the negative income tax that will be needed by all of the newly created poor people, thrown out of work by robots, so the rich can enjoy even greater wealth.
ljaques
Why couldn't they modify those 400 security cams currently in each store to do this for them?
Daishi
Part of the reason I switched from Blockbuster to Netflix way back when was that when I already knew exactly what I was looking for I could add it to Netflix in a couple seconds vs having to walk up and down isles at Blockbuster. The same convenience is part of what drives me to do a lot of shopping online.