Walmart Pulling the Plug on Robots

Jamie Grill-Goodman
Senior Editor
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While some retailers are finding a new value in retail robotics during COVID-19, Walmart is pulling the plug on some of its in-store robots.  

After years of using robots in aisles to take stock of inventory, according to The Wall Street Journal, the retailer has ended its contract with robotics company Bossa Nova Robotics Inc. Walmart had gradually been adding inventory-scanning machines to stores through the partnership. 

"We’ve worked with Bossa Nova for five years and together we learned a lot about how technology can assist associates, make jobs easier and provide a better customer experience," a Walmart spokesperson tells RIS. "This was one idea we tried in roughly 500 stores just as we are trying other ideas in additional stores. We will continue testing new technologies and investing in our own processes and apps to best understand and track our inventory and help move products to our shelves as quickly as we can."

Walmart continues to use robots for other in-store tasks, including autonomous floor scrubbers and FAST Unloaders, which automatically scan and sort items unloaded from trucks based on priority and department.