Walmart Dances with Robots

By David Render


Pittsburgh-based Bossa Nova Robotics Inc. is sending its shelf-scanning robots out to 50 Walmart stores in California, Pennsylvania and Arkansas. The robots are being sent in a real-world use of technology to help Walmart keep its aisles stocked and ready for customers. The robots scan, passes information to the cloud, communicates that data to Walmart’s back-end system and relays that knowledge to store associates to keep store shelves stocked.

“It’s a tool that lets them focus on how to improve the shopping experience,” said Sarjoun Skaff, chief technology officer at Bossa Nova. “It helps them prioritize what to do.”, reports Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, (Nov. 9, 2017).

“The information [the robot] is capturing is whether there’s an out-of-stock, because that is the biggest frustration of shoppers,” Mr. Skaff said. “If they don’t have it, you’re going home without it — or maybe you go to a different store.”

Gliding slowly down a store aisle — at about 1 mile per hour, or a rather lax walking pace — the robot scans its environment with depth sensors to avoid collisions with shelves, or more importantly, people.

The tiny white robot is about two feet tall without its camera tower. Bossa Nova Robotics employs 89 between two offices in Pittsburgh, PA and in San Francisco, CA.

David Render is AccountMate’s Chief Operating Officer.



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