July 1, 2022

These googly-eyed robotic assistants are being rolled out in supermarkets [US]

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By Johnny Lieu From Mashable

IMAGE: GIANT FOOD STORES


The robots are coming, and they’ll be bearing googly eyes.

Marty, as it’s called, is a tall, gray robotic assistant that will be introduced to Giant Food Stores, a supermarket chain which operates in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia.

The robots will be introduced in the coming months to 172 outlets, and will trundle around stores to identify hazards like spills, allowing staffers to spend more time serving customers.

According to The Washington Post, Marty uses a camera to scan the floor for hazards. Once identified, Marty will alert nearby customers by verbally telling them “caution, hazard detected,” then will send an alert through the store’s PA system.

Marty can also scan shelves to identify what items are out of stock, and can also do price checks to ensure there aren’t discrepancies between what’s on the shelf and the store’s database. 

“Bringing robotics and A.I. from a research lab to the sales floor has been a very exciting journey, and we were thrilled by the customer response in our pilot stores,” Nicholas Bertram, president of Giant Food Stores, said in a statement via email.

A spokesperson for Giant Food Stores told PennLive that the robot won’t be used to replace employees. However, retail is one of those industries which is very susceptible to job losses due to automation.

UPDATE: Jan. 15, 2019, 9:40 a.m. PST study out Tuesday from Oracle NetSuite in partnership with Wakefield Research and The Retail Doctor found that 95 percent of consumers don’t want a robot to help them shop. 

After surveying 1,200 consumers and 400 retail executives in the U.S., U.K., and Australia, only 5 percent of shoppers said they’d want to talk to a robot or chatbot while shopping in-store or online.

For more on this story go to: https://mashable.com/article/marty-supermarket-robot-assistant/

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