Walmart will use robots to deal with the sharp increase in online orders in the United States.
The company said on Wednesday that it plans to build a warehouse in its shops where self-propelled robots will receive food orders and be ready to pick up customers in an hour or less.
Walmart declined to specify how many warehouses it would build, but has begun work on stores in Lewisville, Texas; Plano, Texas; American Fork, Utah; And Bentonville, Arkansas, where the company’s headquarters are located. More than a year ago he opened a pilot site in Salem, New Hampshire.
The company hopes that customers will speed up the process of delivering products to customers’ cars when they arrive for pickup. This option became popular with delivery as customers avoided going to the store. At the onset of the epidemic last year, Walmart said home delivery and out-of-store pickup sales were up 300%.
Walmart said the robots would not roam the corridors of stores. They will live inside warehouses built in different areas, either inside or next to the shop. There will be some windows for customers to see how robots work.
Wheeled robots transport apple juice, grains and other small products to workers, who then give them bags. Rival Amazon employs similar technology in its warehouses, where robots distribute books and other small items to workers who pack and ship them.
Walmart said the robots save time because employees don’t have to walk down the aisle, but workers must enter the store for fresh food such as meats, fish and vegetables. They must also collect television and other items that robots cannot transport due to their size.