From stock-taking robots to autonomous robots, Walmart has had a fair share of testing and introducing technologies in its overall business operation, making most customers inquire about the company’s robots.
As a result, one common question that comes up often is: what are the Walmart robots? If you’d like to find out, keep reading!
What Are Walmart Robots In 2023?
Walmart robots are shelf-scanning robots that are used to audit the stores in 2023. Produced by California-based Bossa Nova Robotics, Walmart robots are fitted with sensors for scanning shelves and ensuring that they’re well stocked and contain the correct price tags. In fact, the introduction of the robot to Walmart helped in reducing daily employee tasks.
If you’d like more information on the Walmart robots, what they do at the stores, who makes them for Walmart and more, keep reading!
What Are Walmart Stock Robots Called?
Walmart stock robots are called Bossa Nova Robots by the robotics company, Bossa Nova Robotics Inc., which is widely known for manufacturing inventory control robots that can be used in retail stores.
However, customers may term these robots as Walmart Robots due to the fact that Walmart has them stationed in over 500 physical stores.
What Is The Robot In Walmart Doing?
Introduced in 2017, the roving robots at Walmart by Bossa Nova Robotics were invented to help Walmart keep track of its inventory.
With major online retailers utilizing the help of robots in their warehouses, Walmart’s robots were designed to help Walmart compete with online retailers such as Alibaba and Amazon.
Therefore, as a means of experimenting with the efficiency of using robots in physical stores, Walmart rolled out the use of robots in 500 stores, with the hopes of expanding the technology to 1000 stores.
The robots played a significant role in scanning the shelves and ensuring that all items are in stock and with accurate price tags. However, the use of stock checking robots in Walmart stores ceased in November 2020.
How Do Walmart Robots Work?
In a bid to compete with other online retailers, Walmart introduced the use of shelf-scanning robots to check inventories faster and save associates’ time when some items are out of stock.
The roving robots sit at recharging stations and wait for a Walmart associate to give them instructions on which aisle needs checking and restocking.
With an approximate height of 2- feet tall, the robots are fitted with cameras and sensors that scan the aisles and identify misplaced/ missing items, mislabeling, and incorrect pricing.
Next, the robots would pass data collected to store employees through real-time alerts. Once store employees receive the alerts, they restock the shelves and fix all noted errors. As well, warehouse robots help assemble items ordered by online shoppers.
Is Walmart Going To Use Robots?
Walmart announced the use of automated robots in 25 warehouses as they try to keep up with a recent sudden surge in online orders.
The giant retail stores ceased the use of robots in their brick-and-mortar stores and instead transferred the technology to warehouses for a fast and efficient online shopping experience.
The self-driving robots fetch groceries at the warehouses and have them ready for picking in an hour or less. As well, they enable faster curbside pickups.
To further ease the online shopping surge, wheeled robots in Walmart warehouses move quickly to retrieve light items from shelves and assemble them to a workstation for packing by employees.
This way, human associates can work on items that the robots can’t handle, which saves packaging time in the long run.
What Company Makes Robots For Walmart?
Walmart’s warehouse robots are currently made by a Massachusetts-based automation company, Symbotic.
In July 2021, Walmart formed a partnership with Symbotic in a bid to introduce high-tech automation systems in 25 regional Walmart distribution centers.
This collaboration resulted from a pilot program held in 2017 where Symbotic autonomous robotics were given Walmart’s Brooksville, Florida distribution center.
In the present day, the partnership between Walmart and Symbotic is aimed to build a fast, efficient and frictionless retail experience.
How Much Do Walmart Robots Cost?
The price of the previously used Bossa Nova robots by Walmart Inc. remains undisclosed, but the new Symbotic warehouse robots are estimated to cost between $40 million and $ 80 million (the cost is inclusive of all integrated systems in the warehouse).
Does Walmart Have Robots Stocking Shelves?
Walmart scrapped the use of robots in stocking shelves in November 2020, and instead transferred the technology of using automated robots to warehouses built next to the company’s store locations.
What Happened To Walmart Robots?
In November 2020, Walmart abruptly ended its partnership with a major robot company, Bossa Nova Robotics.
However, even though Walmart had earlier announced its plan to deploy robots to 1000 stores, the company claimed to have devised new strategies that would yield better results.
Walmart noted that more customers had opted to purchase items online, resulting in more staff walking through the aisles to flag any inventory problems on the shelves.
Furthermore, Walmart became worried about how other consumers would react to the presence of robots in their brick-and-mortar stores.
Who Owns The Walmart Bossa Nova Robots?
Walmart’s Bossa Nova Robots are owned by Sarjoun Skaff, a company with its headquarters in San Francisco and main offices in Pittsburgh and Mountain View.
Other main investors in the company include Copa Capital, Intel Capital, LG, Lucas Venture Group, PacVen Walden Ventures, and Paxion Capital Partners.
The Walmart robots are robotic systems that are designed and invented to improve customers’ shopping experience.
Walmart has utilized both stock-checking robots by Bossa Nova and warehouse autonomous robots by Symbotic to create more efficient business operations.