Walmart Reverses Its Decision on Inventory Robots

Nov. 3, 2020
Grocery giant Walmart has cut ties with a robotics company after a five year relationship to introduce more robots into its stores.

You could call it a break-up of sorts. Walmart recently announced it has cut ties with Bossa Nova Robotics Inc. after years-long experiment to automate the inventory process in its grocery aisles. The move appears counter to what more food and beverage companies are moving toward with an increased focus on robotics and automation on the plant floor. 

According to the Wall Street Journal, people close to the situation indicate Walmart has more workers walking the aisles frequently to collect online orders, gleaning new data on inventory problems; additionally, the retailer is pursuing ways to use those workers to monitor product amounts and locations, as well as other automation technology.

For the last five years, Bossa Nova had been working with the grocery giant to implement the technology that allowed roughly 500 six-foot-tall inventory-scanning robotic machines to work the aisles of various stores. According to reports, Bossa Nova laid off around 50% of its staff after the contract with Walmart ended.

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