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Retail giant Walmart is venturing into the use of robots in its stores in the United States.
By the end of January, the biggest US retail corporation will employ 360 robot janitors with artificial intelligence (AI). The robot, called the Auto-C, was developed by the company Brain Corporation. This machine is capable of scrubbing the floors without a human operator.
According to one of Walmart’s vice presidents, using robot janitors will allow human staff to become more productive. With the Auto-C handling repetitive tasks, employees can dedicate their time and energy to perform more valuable duties, such as serving customers.
For the robots to function, a human employee must first operate the Auto-C manually. This way, the robot can learn the store’s layout. After that, the robots can clean the floors independently. Built with sensors, these cleaning machines can gather information and adapt to their surroundings. These robots can also be used even in crowded stores because they can avoid obstacles.
Aside from cleaning, the Auto-C can also upload the information it collected on Walmart’s online platform. For example, the Auto-C can identify empty shelves, which can then be restocked by human staff.
The introduction of AI robot janitors is just one of the ways Walmart uses modern technology in its store operations. In 2017, Walmart introduced shelf-scanning robots that can check prices and identify items with missing or incorrect labels.
Additionally, Walmart has started using another robot to assist store employees. This robot can bring items ordered online from the storage to the store staff. This means less time searching for products.