A lot of processes in superstores have been automated already with the increasing trend of self-checkout. Robots are now here to simplify the process even further by aiding both the customers and the employees. The shelf scanning robot is almost 2 foot in height and has a longer tower fitted with cameras to scan the aisles and make sure everything is in its place. If an item is misplaced, mislabeled or the price is wrong, the data is passed to the store employees who quickly correct the mistake. It also informs the employees if anything is out of stock giving them time to replenish it and not cause discomfort to the customers.
Wal-Mart is the world’s largest retailer and has already tested out these shelf scanning robots in a couple of outlets in Arkansas, Pennsylvania, and California. Based on the results, they have decided to dole out a further 50 units across its stores in the U.S.
“If you are running up and down the aisle and you want to decide if we are out of Cheerios or not, a human doesn’t do that job very well, and they don’t like it,” Jeremy King, chief technology officer for Walmart U.S. and e-commerce, told Reuters.
The Robots are twice as productive and are able to scan the shelves three times faster than a normal human being. This will free up a lot of time for the employees to engage with customers and to handle the sales in a better fashion. Wal-Mart has ensured that the introduction of these robots is not going to affect the employee headcount in any way.
Let’s wait and see what else the chain has in store for us as they currently test drones for home delivery, curbside pickup and checking warehouse inventories. Here is the promo video for the shelf scanning robot.