‘A Walmart Supercenter in Salem, New Hampshire, has been the first store to test a new kind of technology that will use robots to collect grocery items for online order fulfillment.
Walmart is one of the largest companies in the world by revenue, with at least 2.3 million employees in the US, has seen rapid increases in labor costs that are forcing unwanted margin compression.
The solution offered by C-suite executives has been a pilot program of automating a warehouse in Salem with the goal of deploying robots to eliminate employees and save costs.
The new robot is called Alphabot, and it’s ten times faster than a human worker – this would increase productivity in the warehouse, driving down the need for new hires during peak holiday periods when orders increase.
Alphabot operates inside a 20,000-square-foot warehouse that retrieves refrigerated and frozen items ordered for online grocery.
Once the robot completes an order, it delivers it to a workstation, where a human checks, bags, and delivers the final order.
Brian Roth, a senior manager of pickup automation and digital operations for Walmart, said Alphabot would transform the company’s online grocery operations in the early 2020s.’