- Walmart is adding more robots to its stores, a spokesperson confirmed to Business Insider.
- The shelf-stocking Bossa Nova robots will be expanding to 650 more stores, bringing to total number of stores to 1,000 with this technology.
- Walmart recently unveiled a grocery-packing robot to help speed up online delivery fulfillment.
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Walmart is moving forward with automation in more stores nationwide.
The superstore is adding shelf-scanning robots to 650 stores by the summer, the retailer confirmed to Business Insider. The robots are designed by the San Francisco-based Bossa Nova Robotics Inc. and made to scan items on shelves to assist with price accuracy and restocking. The robots are already present in 350 stores.
The six-foot-tall devices contain 15 cameras each, which scan aisles and shelves and send alerts to employees in real time.
“Our associates immediately understood the opportunity for the new technology to free them up from focusing on tasks that are repeatable, predictable, and manual,” John Crecelius, senior vice president of central operations for Walmart US, said in a company blog post about automation in April. “It allows them time to focus more on selling merchandise and serving customers, which they tell us have always been the most exciting parts of working in retail.”
This robot expansion is the latest move in a series of automation experiments for the superstore. Walmart has introduced robots for cleaning floors, unloading and sorting items from trucks, and for picking up orders in stores.
The superstore also recently unveiled Alphabot, a packing and sorting robot meant to speed up the fulfillment process for online grocery delivery. The system currently resides in a 20,000 square-foot facility alongside a Walmart store in Salem, New Hampshire. Walmart plans to bring the system to stores in Mustang, Oklahoma and Burbank, California this year.
The robots in the Alphabot system are able to pick and pack online grocery orders up to 10 times faster than humans.
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