Last year, Walmart introduced robots that worked the aisles of their stores helping humans by scanning the stock on shelves. In August of 2018, they piloted storage and retrieval robotics for the grocery pickup service. Now they will be using robots to mop the floors that don’t need a human to steer.
According to a recent Bloomberg article, San Diego-based Brain Corp. created the autonomous janitors that can clean floors and navigate around customers. Walmart will add 360 of the cleaning robots in US stores by the end of January. Brain Corp.'s Chief Executive Officer Eugene Izhikevich declares that “We can take anything that has wheels and turn it into a fully autonomous robot, provided that it can go slow and stopping is never a safety concern. And it’s more than just navigation. It is to robots what Android operating system is to smartphones.”
Brain’s robots are equipped with a unique software, BrainOS, to achieve autonomy in the store. The machine can perform the floor cleaning after a human runs through the layout of the space in need of cleaning with the machine just once. It is also equipped with cameras, sensors and LiDAR to help it maneuver down aisles and around obstacles. All of the autonomous navigation and data collection abilities are uploaded to a cloud-based reporting system.
Walmart understands the role robots can fill in completing the repetitive tasks humans don’t want to do, freeing them up to provide better customer service. They are intent on experimenting with technology to find success in a future in which the retail environment is more than just a big box.
Reality Changing Observations:
Q1. What other retail companies are experimenting with robots?
Q2. What are some other ways brick and mortar stores can use robots to increase efficiency?
Q3. What do the robots of Walmart have to do to get their own website like people of Walmart?