We all would remember those days when we used to visit departmental stores and ask our parents to buy a bag of chips or a bar of chocolate. But now tables have turned. Now we all visit those big Walmart stores and now have our own trolleys buying stuff which is necessary or also buy things which we think we can afford.
But have noticed one thing that whenever we visit these Walmart stores, the racks are never empty. Ever wondered how? Walmart has been using shelf-scanning robots.
These robots perform by scanning the shelves and then send the information to the inventory. Walmart — one of the biggest adopters of this technology. But any company invest starting with smaller units. The same was the case with Walmart.
In 2017, it began with shelf scanning robots supplied by Bossa Nova Robotics initially supplied only at 50 different stores. These movable robots would simplify routine work in stores.
The company responded robot vision helps them in identifying and restocking the products are out of stock. After the successful beginning, Walmart placed shelf-scanning robots in some 500 of its stores. Bossa Nova planned to extend to 1000 Walmart stores.
Walmart uses Shelf Scanning Robots
Ending the Contract
But the retailers found that humans equally did well this job. So, they ended their contract with Bossa Nova Robotics. The reason is not clear, but the global pandemic can be one of the definite reasons. Because of the pandemic, people started shopping online.
The workers at the stores have to collect the online orders and while performing these duties they can also check on the product availability simultaneously. So, in return, there was no need for robots now. And secondly, Walmart’s US chief executive John Furner also worries about the awkwardness of customers by seeing robots around them in stores.
The spokesperson of Walmart said that they have been working hand to hand with Bossa Nova for the last 5 years and they learned technology can assist associates, make jobs easier, and provide a better customer experience.
They try to test new technologies and investing in their processes and apps to best understand and track their inventory and help move products to shelves as faster than they can.
Walmart - Stock Scanning Robot
But this cancellation had a negative impact on Bossa Nova. Sarjoun Skaff, Bossa Nova’s co-founder, stated that the company got forced to “streamline” its operations because of the COVID-19 outbreak. She has full belief in herself and her team that the company has always made stunning advances in AI and robotics and will continue to do so.
So, would you feel the awkwardness if you see a mobile shelf scanning robot managing the surrounding stocks?
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