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When employees are asked to run menial tasks day in and day out, they can start feeling like robots. While burnout and fatigue can occur, the worst crime being conducted here is time wasted. To help alleviate employees from falling into a pit of repetitive tasks, actual robots can now do the job for them so they can make better use of their time.
Such is the case in many grocery stores nowadays wherein robots have reportedly been contributing to the improvement of workforce efficiency. Here are the five grocery robots that have recently been helping and assisting grocery store employees with their jobs.
Made by Badger Technologies, Marty is a grocery store robot that helps alert employees of any spills and hazards in aisles. The rather large $35,000 robot roams around aisles and scans surroundings each day.
Although it cannot clean up the spill or pick up fallen objects itself, at least not yet, Marty would alert the nearest employee or a nearby shopper of the possible hazard to avoid any accidents. When a spill or hazard is detected, Marty’s signal light will turn from blue to yellow. Depending on the language it is programmed to speak in, Marty can also say, “Caution: Hazard detected” in English or Spanish.
Millie is similar to Marty as this robot also detects any hazards and will alert employees of them. However, Millie is more advanced in the sense that it can actually clean any spills detected. Millie helps improve workforce efficiency by alleviating any spill-cleaning work from employees so they may focus on other tasks.
True to its name, Tally actually “tallies” data by monitoring items and alerting employees if any need restocking. The shelf-scanning robot made by Simbe Robotics is completely autonomous and helps employees in tracking inventory.
Tally is able to scan products each day, collect data, checks if prices indicated on the shelves are correct, and will make sure that your favorite bag of chips doesn’t go out of stock. Keeping track of inventory and replenishment are Tally’s main jobs, and the Schnucks grocery store reports that “she” has been doing a great job at it!
Another grocery store robot that helps with stocking and inventory is SmartSight EMA50. Made by Zebra Technologies, SmartSight EMA50 can find any problems with inventory, price glitches, and display issues thanks to the computer vision, machine learning, and robotic automation used.
When a problem is detected, SmartSight EMA50 will send a push message to an employee via a Zebra mobile computer stating what the issue is. Zebra Technologies has reported that with the SmartSight EMA50, a human employee can reduce an average of 65 hours spent doing manual inventory.
Alphabot is a grocery robot that was developed especially for Walmart by Alert Innovation. The Alphabot is designed to make the internal pickup and delivery process faster and more efficient for employees who are fulfilling online customer orders. The Alphabot will retrieve products placed inside the autonomous carts, delivers them to a workstation for a human employee to check, and will ultimately be packed for final delivery.
With today’s growing demands and fast-paced life, having robots to help out in grocery stores may start to become a norm. After all, humans and robots are starting to coexist more as colleagues as many other industries have started deploying robots to help out with the workflow.
There are already restaurant robots to help in getting orders and serving them to diners, warehouse robots helping with menial tasks, and delivery robots that will deliver food. With the same trajectory, grocery robots can also start becoming a thing.