Wal-Mart has hired a number of robots to wander around the aisles of its stores and check if products are in stock and displayed correctly.
The company is said to be rolling out the robot shopkeeping assistant at 50 locations around the US, according to a report on ArkansasOnline.com.
The robots themselves are from a company called Bossa Nova Robotics, which we previously reported had developed an automated planogram compliance system in partnership with software developer Digimarc.
A planogram is basically a plan of a shop, how it’s laid out and where products are placed.
The Bossa Nova robot would be given the planogram and go around the store and check the actual aisles and scan the products to see if they correspond with the information it has on the planogram and whatever else it is given to check against, such as price labels.
In comments to ArkansasOnline.com, John Crecelius, Wal-Mart US vice president of central operations, says: “If you think about trying to go through a facility with all these different [items] and figure out if your prices are accurate, it can be very time-consuming.
“Then to try to figure out what to do about it. Imagine how much time you’ve lost in doing all that.”
The Bossa Nova robot being employed by Wal-Mart is just one of such shopkeeping robots currently entering the jobs market.
Another two robot developers have also placed robots at stores to do similar tasks. One is Fellow Robots, which has installed robots at Lowe’s, a hardware store chain, and Simbe Robotics has integrated its machines into Schnucks grocery stores.