Walmart is currently testing a robot system that is capable of picking online grocery orders.
The company partnered up with Alert Innovation and created Alphabot, which is being set up in Walmart’s superstore in Salem, New Hampshire. The Alphabot is put together in an extension connected to the main store, which will also feature drive-thru lanes that customers can use to pick up their orders.
Currently, the company is testing the Alphabot to see if it can speed up the process of ordering groceries online and picking them up. The robot brings the items from storage to the Walmart staff who then put together the orders, which basically means that the personal shoppers won’t have to walk across the isles to do that, except for fresh items, which they will have to handpick themselves.
Credit: Walmart / YouTube
The Salem store will also benefit from Pickup Towers for online orders – they are automated shelf-scanners that help identify items that are out of stock, priced incorrectly or have missing labels.
The company wants the staff to focus more on service and sales and orient the employees towards a more personal approach while the otherwise repeatable and mundane tasks they have to perform would be handled by the machines.
Walmart plans to have the Alphabot online and running at full capacity by the end of the year but the Salem store shoppers will be able to order their groceries online for pick-up as early as October 1.