Shelf-scanning robots rolled out across supermarkets
American retailer Wal-Mart is rolling out shelf-scanning robots to more than 50 stores in the United States after a successful pilot scheme in Arkansas, Pennsylvania and California.
The two-foot tall robots scan shelves using cameras to identify missing and misplaced items, as well as incorrect prices and labels.
Human employees then use the data to stock shelves and fix errors more rapidly, which helps increase sales.
Wal-Mart said the robots would not replace employees, adding that humans typically only have time to scan shelves about twice a week.
“If you are running up and down the aisle and you want to decide if we are out of Cheerios or not, a human doesn’t do that job very well, and they don’t like it,” Jeremy King, chief technology officer for Walmart US and eCommerce, told Reuters.
He added that the robots are 50 per cent more productive than their human counterparts in terms of speed and accuracy.
Watch the video below to see the robots in action then leave a comment below to let us know your thoughts on automation and jobs.
The co-founder of event search engine and comparison site TickX told us recently that advances in artificial intelligence-driven technologies could soon put a lot of lawyers and doctors out of a job.
Meanwhile Rob McCargow, AI programme leader for PwC’s UK operation, said AI needs a human touch if it is to change our lives for the better.