Walmart rolls out 'shelf-scanning' robots

Walmart rolls out 'shelf-scanning' robots

The retailer has been testing the robots in a number of stores in Arkansas, Pennsylvania and California, where they're used for "repeatable, predictable and manual" tasks. Such tasks include scanning shelves for out-of-stock items, making sure all pricing is correct and fixing any wrong or missing labels.

Autonomous robots are taking over Walmart.

That light grey machine is one of Walmart's new "shelf-scanning" robots. Business Insider reports this expansion will be completed by the end of January 2018. They sit in recharging stations in the store until a human employee gives them a "mission" - e.g. checking a particular aisle to see what needs re-stocking.

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Robots are already a common sight in warehouses (Amazon alone use more than 45,000) but now they're moving into stores too. It's also able to identify when product is priced incorrectly.

"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", said King.