The robots are coming for Walmart workers' jobs, with the retail giant saying it plans to add nearly 4,000 robots to its stores and facilities as it seeks to remove human workers from routine tasks like scrubbing floors.
It also comes amid increased pressure to keep up with rising wages at the retail giant's competitors.
At any rate, to start with, Walmart will be bringing these new robots to 1,500 locations throughout the US. Walmart's minimum wage is $11 per hour. However, Walmart probably isn't planning any mass lay-offs anytime soon; the company will likely need time to test this technology and ensure it's worth the expense before it makes any widespread personnel changes.
At Walmart, they're known as Smart Sidekicks for employees.
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"Auto-C provides a cleaner shopping experience for our customers, and it frees up our associates to serve them better", the company said in a blog post. And they can check for out-of-stock items, mislabeled shelf tags, and incorrect prices.
In addition, there will be robotic unloaders to automatically scan and sort items from delivery trucks.
Pickup Towers, the in-store vending machines that give customers their order in less than a minute, are expected to be added to 17 stores across the state.
John Crecelius, senior vice president of Central Operations for Walmart U.S., said in the release that employees "immediately understood the opportunity for the new technology to free them up from focusing on tasks that are repeatable, predictable and manual".