If you find yourself browsing in a Walmart within the next few months, and you happen to see a robot next to you, don’t be alarmed. Don’t panic, or scream. It is meant to be there.
This week, Walmart announced that robots will be integrating robots across 50 stores in 4 states, including California and Arkansas. The retailer is working with Bossa Nova Robotics in order to make the robotics come to life inside stores.
Robots In Walmart
The robots that Walmart is using in stores are meant to assist employees by using state of the art cameras and equipment like cameras that can spot shelving errors, notifying of the workers of any errors that are found. This will help Walmart automate daily activities and save workers quite a lot of aggravation.
“According to Walmart’s management, the robots will free employees from repetitive and predictable tasks and give them more time to concentrate on giving their customers better service.” WebPro News reports.
Of course, this project is still in the beginning stages and has a lot of room to grow. It will take getting feedback from customers and employees in order to understand fully what will work, and what will fail in terms of being the most productive and effective for the store.
“One of those ways is being able to keep products in stock by noticing more quickly when items are running low. Crecelius says the information could even help customers shop Walmart’s online offerings, as the store would have a more complete and accurate report of what exactly it has in stock.” Business Insider reports.
How It Works
The robotics that will be found in Walmart’s stores work like self-driving vehicles, that will be active whenever they are deemed fit, but they will be most necessary in the early morning, and late at night. This is mainly because the robots may get in the way of patrons who are in the store. In order to make this a reality, the robots will have to be tested in real-time during the busier midday hours.
When it comes to the tasks these robots can complete, the sky is the limit. For now, the robots are meant to scan shelves and report any human error. That doesn’t mean Walmart is stopping there.
“The shelf-scanning robots are just the first in a series of changes Walmart appears to be considering. The company has already filed several patents on technology that they plan on using, including a wearable device that will track shoppers’ movements.” WebPro News reports.
Automation In Retail
The fact that Walmart is putting initiatives forward that support automation means that retail is heading towards digital transformation more and more. This is not a new feat. The idea of automation tools like robots in retail has been a topic of interest among consumers and retailers. Many people argue that this has the potential to actually take jobs away, but consumers tend to be in favor of any tool that can make shopping easier.
The idea of shopping next to a robot can be a foreign idea for many people. 15 years ago, this idea would seem a bit crazy. Now the idea has flourished to a concrete tool. Since Walmart is one of the biggest retailers today, the potential for automation is really endless, if this is proven a success.
People like the idea of being helped and if this robot can provide real value, then you may see robots in more stores than just Walmart.
C-Level experts from across North America’s retail industry are coming together in Dallas next August to anticipate the highly complex digital retail environment that will develop over the next few years.
Through a cutting-edge program designed by the industry, for the industry, we will provide a fresh and up-to-date insight to help move your organization to the next level of digital leadership. A series of executive education roundtables, keynote presentations, collaborative think tanks, educational workshops, and networking sessions will offer industry-specific topics and trends to ensure your company sustains its competitive advantage.