Walmart’s fleet of shelf-scanning robots has now expanded to 50 stores around the US and the company couldn’t be happier.
After the first satisfying robot tests created by Bossa Nova Robotics, Walmart has deployed a lot of units in 50 stores. Roaming up and down the aisles at 2 mph and drawing the customers’ full attention, these robots scan for out-of-stock or missing items, incorrect prices or abandoned products.
Speaking to Business Insider, Walmart said that these robots will help customers when shopping online by tracking stock more accurately. For those threatened by automation, who fear for their jobs, Walmart’s VP of Innovation John Crecelius had a few reassuring words:
“People are just drawn to technology and what it does. Our associates naturally get drawn to: ‘What is this going to provide, how can I use this in what I’m doing?’ That’s usually a good sign. It usually happens when they feel like something is helping them or making a meaningful difference.”
Right now, the Walmart robots are being deployed to scan shelves three times a day and aren’t a big threat to employees. However, the company might encounter some resistance in the Bay Area, as some officials are pushing for an official robot tax.