Walmart said it’s expanding its automated stocking-monitoring pilot and will be adding several thousand new robots and new Pickup Towers to its storefronts.
The retailer said it will add 900 more Pickup Towers, the massive fulfillment “vending machines” that enable consumers to retrieve merchandise as large as microwave ovens,
It’s also adding 300 additional shelf scanners for more accurate inventory management and 1,500 new autonomous floor cleaners, which the retailer termed “Auto-S” and “Auto-C,” respectively.
Finally, 1,200 additional sorting robots (“FAST Unloaders”) will be added to storefronts to scan, sort and prioritize merchandise from truck deliveries. These bots will also share data with the Auto-S shelf scanners, Walmart said.
All of the additions are designed to free up employees from focusing on “repeatable, predictable and manual” tasks in order to spend more time helping customers and selling, said John Crecelius, Walmart U.S. central operations senior VP, in a statement.