(See my other posts on Robots) – Walmart has been impacted by online sales from Amazon and other sources. As part of their cost-cutting efforts to stay competitive and improve the customer experience, they have begun deploying robots within their stores.
Walmart recently announced on their Blog (“#SquadGoals: How Automated Assistants are Helping Us Work Smarter“) that they would be deploying 1,500 new “Auto-C” autonomous floor cleaners, 300 “Auto-S” shelf scanners, and an additional 1,200 “FAST” unloaders to scan and sort items as they come off delivery trucks. To expedite online orders, Walmart will add 900 “Pickup Towers”. These will let customers order something on the company’s website and just pick up it up from a vending machine at a nearby Walmart. ”
Walmart’s stated intention with the effort is to use “pioneering new technologies to minimize the time an associate spends on the more mundane and repetitive tasks like cleaning floors or checking inventory on a shelf. This gives associates more of an opportunity to do what they’re uniquely qualified for: serve customers face-to-face on the sales floor.“.
For now, the new robots and human employees will be working side-by-side.