Giant Foods Stores Pilots Marty, a Robot Rover
LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP, PA - Five years ago, robots roving supermarket aisles might have seemed like a stretch of the imagination. Today, the concept is not only a reality, but quickly gaining footing with retailers. One such example comes in the form of Marty, a friendly, googly-eyed robot that Ahold USA, parent of Giant Food Stores, is piloting in Pennsylvania as part of a larger upcoming program, according to local source Penn Live.
Marty is a multi-purpose bot-- a tall gray gadget personified with a set of eyes. The robot is part of a test program being developed by Badger Technologies.
"We recognize an opportunity to have a robot that could give us an assistance in the building to our associates. The robot can't do the work of the associates but he can report out information and data to us that is a value, not only to us as a business, but to our customers," said Patrick Maturo, Manager of Store Optimization for Ahold USA.
Marty the robot currently patrols the store aisles several times a day. It does not replace duties of any employees, but is able to:
- Scan floors for slip or trip hazards
- Read unit tags to recognize if items are out-of-stock and notify employees or generate replenishment reports
- Check prices
"Marty can actually look at a unit tag on the shelf, read that unit tag, reference it back to the front register system, and know whether or not that tag is reflective of the correct retail price," Maturo added.
According to Maturo in the report, by 2018, Ahold USA is planning to have an expanded version of the program with a dozen robots operating throughout its banners.
Other retailers currently experimenting with robots include Target, Amazon, and Walmart.
How will this technology impact the retail landscape? AndNowUKnow will continue to report.