Automation! The folks over at Walmart aim to do something to help reduce out-of-stock items on their store shelves, an experience that collectively costs retailers a trillion dollars a year.
And they aim to enlist the help of shelf-scanning devices.
Bloomberg has the lowdown on how the robotic army of the retail giant is growing. The fleet is set to go beyond the 1,000 mark, as the world’s largest retailer has outlined plans to add these types of robots to more than 650 stores in the United States.
These new robots are designed by San Francisco-based company, Bossa Nova Robotics.
And they join the ranks of the increasingly automated workforce that Walmart already has is place, including machines that scrub floors and unload trucks, among other tasks. These new shelf-scanners, Walmart says, can reduce tasks that took as long as two weeks into a twice-daily routine.
How these six-foot-tall devices work is that they roam aisles and scan the situation with no less than 15 cameras that have been strategically placed on these robots.
Whey they find items are out of stock, they send alerts to the store employees on their handheld devices.
That said, Walmart has so far declined to give details about how much the robots have reduced out-of-stock products, saying only that the metric has improved.
The company did however say that the devices have traveled a total of 50,000 miles and scanned around a million aisles and 500 million products.
Not bad, for starters.