Walmart's 'revolutionary' grocery picking robot offers streamlined online shopping
Walmart has unveiled a new robotic system for its online grocery. The retailer introduced the pilot robot - called Alphabot - to one of its Supercenter stores this week.
With Alphabot going fully operational, the development comes after Walmart's increased investment in robotics. It's newest attempt to make groceries more streamlined, the bot is a product of work between the retail giant and Alert Innovation.
The company says that its bot helps "revolutionize" the online grocery pickup process. In a press release on Thursday, it detailed that the robot works in a 20,000 square foot warehouse. In the warehouse, autonomous carts operate to retrieve food and deliver online orders to a workstation.
Then, associates at the store review the orders and send them off to customers. While workers will continue picking fresh produce by hand, all other items are selected by Alphabot.
The robot has been tested at a pilot location in Salem since mid-2019. Its one of a kind technology allows for collecting groceries faster.
“By assembling and delivering orders to associates, Alphabot is streamlining the order process, allowing associates to do their jobs with greater speed and efficiency,” Roth said.
In the long run, this will increase accuracy and lower dispense times. The other advantage that Walmart stresses is how the transition will free up time for their workers. Alphabot will help associates help customers, it said.
Along with collecting items, the new system collects data. So, stocking will "become more intelligent" as the technology learns as it stocks. By automating the stocking process, the retailer anticipates the needs of customers.
This is the latest technological advancement for Walmart. Last September, it expanded its grocery delivery.