Why Walmart is Doubling Down on Those Robot Janitors
You know that robot vacuum you have roaming around your house picking up your spills and crumbs? Walmart wants in on the action.
If you’ve visited Walmart recently, you might have seen a new floor scrubbing robot roaming the store’s aisles. Maybe you didn’t realize what it was at the time, but now you know.
Scrubbing floors isn’t exactly a popular job task for Walmart associates, so now the bot gets to do the dirty work. The robot is working so well that Walmart plans to add them to even more stores, like 1,860 of it’s 4,700 stores.
Maybe you’ve seen a different type of robot at Walmart. This one doesn’t scrub floors; it scans shelves looking at the inventory. It can tell when items are out of stock or almost out of stock, and it will eventually be able to communicate that information to yet another robot that Walmart is testing out. It will soon be in 350 Walmart stores.
Yet another robot unloads boxes from delivery trucks. It also scans and sorts the items. Walmart says that there’s a lot of employee turnover in these unloading jobs, so the bot can step in. This robot will soon be in 1,700 stores.
With all these new robots taking over a Walmart near you, you might wonder if that’s going to mean layoffs. Walmart says that while some job types will be eliminated by the robots other new jobs will be created.
It’s a different world when it comes to retail. While many stores have gone out of business, Walmart has changed with the times and adapted with a fairly easy to navigate website, free shipping on some orders and the ability to order online and pickup your order at your local store.
Since fewer Walmart associates will be needed for tasks like scrubbing floors, scanning inventory and unloading trucks, they’ll be available to help out with job types created by the digital age. Walmart needs associates to help customers when they come to the store to pick up their order. They also need associates to select items for grocery order pickup.
Walmart believes that the employees will be happier and feel more fulfilled assisting customers than doing janitorial type tasks.
For more about these new bots, watch the video below.
Have you seen any of these new robots at your local Walmart? Do you think adding robots to stores for janitorial type tasks is a good idea?