Wal-Mart announced a plan to add more than 3,000 autonomous worker robots to their U.S. stores. Included in the plan are 3 types of “smart assistants”: floor cleaners, shelf scanners, and inventory unloading machines. These robots reduce the amount of repetitive tasks done by Wal-Mart employees. This change should allow Wal-Mart employees to focus on helping customers and improving the customer experience.
According to Wal-Mart’s websites, the following technologies will be added to certain U.S. locations.
1,500 new Auto-C autonomous floor cleaners
300 additional Auto-S shelf scanners
1,200 more FAST Unloaders
900 new pick-up towers for online orders
The autonomous floor cleaners (Auto-C) can be programmed to travel through open parts of the store, cleaning and polishing the floor. The autonomous shelf scanners (Auto-S) scan items on the shelf to check in-store inventory, placement, and pricing. The FAST unloader automatically scans in sorts items unloaded from trucks based on priority. The pick-up towers allow customers to easily retrieve their online orders.