Walmart is the leader of the American retailer in implementing AI in physical stores. This boldness of the retailer in terms of introducing new technologies, of course, is also due to revenues - Walmart has been ranked first in the Fortune Global 500 ranking of the world"s largest companies for many years. The American supermarket chain uses AI both in automated payment systems and on the website companies, and in the delivery of goods by drones, but today we will get acquainted with the Bossa Nova robot, which Walmart put into operation back in 2017.
Three times a day, a small robot on four wheels at a speed of 0.5 km per hour passes through all the branches of the traditionally large Walmart supermarkets and does the work of merchandisers, scanning the shelves with goods. While customers are making purchases, Bossa Nova checks all store shelves along a predetermined route, sending information about already purchased products and incorrect price tags to the warehouse. The robot is equipped with safety sensors to recognize objects and avoid collisions with people and carts on its own.
The robot is 50% faster to complete the work of the merchandisers, as the staff carried out large-scale checks of all shelves only twice a week, and the robot three times a day. Thanks to this, warehouse workers replenish empty shelves much faster, and stores where automatic merchandisers work have been able to redistribute staff forces. As noted in the company, the task of robots is not to reduce the number of employees, but to provide employees with more time to work directly with customers. Today, Bossa Nova is already scanning the shelves of 50 Walmart supermarkets in Arkansas, California, Florida, Pennsylvania and Texas.