Don’t you hate it when you go to a supermarket only to find that when you reach the section you want, the item that you intended to purchase is out of stock? Most supermarket already have systems in place to keep track of inventory, but since restocking is usually left to humans, sometimes it might take a while for them to restock the shelves.

However this is something that Walmart wants to address with the use of shelf-scanning robots. Such robots aren’t exactly new, but Walmart seems to be making a big push for them becoming more ubiquitous and mainstream during their operations by testing out these robots in over 50 of their stores around the country.

“That’s exactly the idea behind something new we’re testing in a small number of our stores: using automation to handle tasks that are repeatable, predictable and manual, like scanning shelves for out-of-stock items, incorrect prices and wrong or missing labels.” Walmart also stresses how these robots aren’t meant to replace their human workers, but rather they’re designed to complement each other, with the robots performing more menial/repetitive tasks, while human workers focus more on serving their customers.

It does seem like a rather stark comparison to what Amazon is doing, which is almost eliminating the need for people, where its Amazon Go grocery stores will not require cashiers as sensors and scanners placed around the store will know what customers have purchased instantly.

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