Economy

Robots to help stock shelves at 50 Walmart stores

Robots to help stock shelves at 50 Walmart stores”

The retail corporation told CNN that the program is expanding to locations in El Paso and Fort Worth in Texas, and Jacksonville, Florida.

The robots will be arriving before the end of the first month of 2018, and expand the program at Walmart to cover a total of 50 stores. According to Mashable, the expansion did not surprise those familiar with the retail-giant sphere, as Walmart has spent the past few years doing everything and anything it can to speed up its infrastructure and beat back Amazon.

The two-foot tall robots are fitted with cameras to scan aisles and check stock, identifying missing, misplaced, mislabeled and mispriced items. This is the type of work that takes humans employees more time to do and that they can have a hard time picking up on the details. "This new shelf-scanning technology frees up time for our associates to focus on what they tell us are the most important and exciting parts of working at Walmart - serving customers and selling merchandise". Instead the robot collects the data and then gives it to the human employees who then correct any mistakes or restock where needed, Reuters reported. They continuously go up and down the aisles of the store, alerting human employees of errors it sees.

Walmart's robots are very tame when compared to peers. "When it comes to picking the product up, the robot has no arms", said Martin Hitch, chief business officer at Bossa Nova Robotics, the company producing the robots for Walmart.

Last July, Walmart launched giant vending machines that dispense orders for pickup for customers, which eliminated the need to have human's sorting as well as delivering. Automation could speed up that process.

Still, the move seems to be a harbinger of the retail world to come.

The company is also experimenting with new technology in the delivery space.



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