From floor cleaning robots to facial recognition that can spot angry customers, Walmart has been testing all types of technology in their stores lately. Along with keeping up with competitors like Amazon and Target, the company wants to make stores more efficient and provide a better shopping experience. Most recently they’ve deployed robots to Jacksonville, Florida to help scan the shelves.
Autonomous Scanner Robots Spot Empty Shelves and Mispriced Items
The autonomous scanners, who look like R2D2 with a giant arm, will be going up and down aisles looking for empty shelves and prices that need updating. If they notice anything amiss, they send an alert to human employees. As it goes down each aisle, the robot will make a report which can be accessed by managers at any time.
Normally this mundane task would be performed by human employees with a hand scanner. The company says the robot is not there to replace humans but to free them up for other tasks like face to face interaction with customers. Of course, using robots for tasks like this have their benefits. They can work pretty much around the clock and don’t need to be fed. Using automaton can also greatly reduce errors and inaccuracies.
The robot can go through an entire store about three times a day. Along with checking prices and stock, it’s onboard sensors also collect photos and in-depth data on inventory. Walmart can use this kind of data to see how certain items and areas of the store are performing over time. This could help provide a better strategy on how to stock and layout specific stores.
According to the company, if all goes well in Jacksonville, these autonomous scanner robots could quickly be deployed to more Walmart locations around the world.