Skip to Content
Uncategorized

Walmart’s bot brigade is about to hit the 2,000-mile mark

March 12, 2018

Walmart’s shelf-scanning robots have been on the move. In the four months since the company announced it was deploying them in 50 of its stores, the automated (and vaguely llama-looking) machines have traveled nearly 2,000 miles through the aisles.

Keeping busy: John Crecelius, Walmart’s vice president of innovation, says the robots have been scanning the food and consumables sections of the stores three times a day. They search for out-of-stock items, incorrect prices, and other things that need an associate’s attention. In total, the robots have scanned about 78 million items.

By the numbers: Back-of-the-envelope math suggests about 13,000 scans per robot per day.

In the field: Walmart has deployed bots in geographies with varying traffic and characteristics. “In these first 50 stores our focus has largely been getting [the robot] to be a product that makes a meaningful difference,” says Crecelius. The company plans to continue to collect data before considering an expansion of the program.

The reaction: Martin Hitch, the chief business officer of the robots’ manufacturer, Bossa Nova, says customer reaction has been mixed. While some shoppers are intrigued by the robots, at least 50 percent completely ignore them.

Deep Dive

Uncategorized

Our best illustrations of 2022

Our artists’ thought-provoking, playful creations bring our stories to life, often saying more with an image than words ever could.

How CRISPR is making farmed animals bigger, stronger, and healthier

These gene-edited fish, pigs, and other animals could soon be on the menu.

The Download: the Saudi sci-fi megacity, and sleeping babies’ brains

This is today’s edition of The Download, our weekday newsletter that provides a daily dose of what’s going on in the world of technology. These exclusive satellite images show Saudi Arabia’s sci-fi megacity is well underway In early 2021, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia announced The Line: a “civilizational revolution” that would house up…

10 Breakthrough Technologies 2023

Every year, we pick the 10 technologies that matter the most right now. We look for advances that will have a big impact on our lives and break down why they matter.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.