Walmart is adding more to its network of store robots.
For the last three years, robotic employees have roamed the aisles of different Walmart stores in California, Arkansas and Pennsylvania. The retail giant said that its robotic program was expanding into locations in Fort Worth and El Paso, Texas, as well as in Jacksonville, Florida.
The robots will be arriving before the end of the first month of 2018, and expand the program at Walmart to cover a total of 50 stores. The latest expansion should not come as any surprise to those familiar with today’s retail world.
Walmart over the last few years has spent a large amount of money and human resources in doing all it can to speed up its overall infrastructure and beat back the constant advances of Amazon.
Customer interaction is a primary way in which the Arkansas-based retailing behemoth will edge out its online rival every time.
Delegating menial type tasks like scanning for items that are mislabeled to machines is allowing humans to spend more time focused on the overall customer experience, according to Walmart.
We are very excited that we have great potential to give our people more time to serve customers, something they have said is the best part for them in working in the retail industry, said a spokesperson for Walmart.
Many of the recent innovations at Walmart have been aimed at removing the human element from mundane aspects that are found in the retail industry.
Last July, Walmart launched giant vending machines that dispense orders for pickup for customers, which eliminated the need to have human’s sorting as well as delivering.
In June, Walmart tested a grocery kiosk that was self-serve in one of its stores in Oklahoma.
Walmart’s robots are very tame when compared to peers. A new startup recently launched a new set of robots that zoom around the warehouse and shop for customers.
In China, robots in sorting plant that is fully automated can sort through packages in the thousands at terrifyingly fast speeds.
Nevertheless, Walmart has insisted that its team of robots is to assist its employees, not replace them, as some have said will eventually happen.
With automation and technology continuing to advance, as companies strive to launch autonomous vehicles and other robotic devices, the human worker is becoming more and more a replaceable part of the workforce.