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Walmart Considers Robotic Shopping Carts for Stores

Walmart has another technology development in the works.

The world’s largest retailer is reportedly working with Five Elements Robotics, to develop in-store shopping carts to assist customers with grocery lists and heavy loads, Bloomberg Technology reported.

“Such carts are an emerging opportunity for robotics companies as brick-and-mortar stores look for innovative ways to match the convenience of Inc. and other online retailers,” said Five Elements Robotics’ Wendy Roberts, who spoke at Bloomberg Technology Conference 2016.

Roberts didn’t say exactly which brand her company was working with, except that it was “the world’s largest retailer.” According to a source, that retailer is Walmart.

Walmart’s desire for robotic shopping carts follows other technology initiatives this year. The company announced earlier this month that it will be using drones by 2017, which will assist associates with real-time data and move goods in distribution centers.

Walmart also developed a new app for store associates, the My Productivity app, which helps restock specific items, access real-time data and assists with customer service.

In addition, it introduced a grocery delivery service, which works with local driver services to bring groceries from stores to the homes of Walmart customers daily.

Robotic shopping carts would be greatly beneficial to Walmart’s customers that may need assistance shopping throughout the company’s stores. Five Elements Robotics is currently selling a robot named Budgee, which communicates and carries belongings. Similar to a personal assistant, Budgee travels with each individual to help them have a seamless shopping experience. Having robotic shopping carts such as Budgee would allow disabled and elderly individuals to easily find items and navigate through Walmart stores without difficulties.

With this new technology development, Walmart will keep its competitive edge in today’s evolving market. Other large retailers, including Amazon, already use robots to help across all operations, including fulfillment centers. Robotic shopping carts combined with drones, employee applications and other developments will take Walmart’s retail reputation up a notch while benefiting future customers.