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Grocery Stores Turn to Robots During the Coronavirus

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An inventory robot scans Walmart shelves.

Food retailers increasingly are deploying robots to clean floors, stock shelves, and deliver groceries during the coronavirus pandemic.

Credit: CNN Business

Broad Branch Market in Washington, DC, acquired six-wheel self-driving robots with sensors and artificial intelligence to shuttle deliveries to local customers.

Meanwhile, Brain Corp., which provides autonomous floor-scrubbing robots to grocers, witnessed a 13% year-over-year increase in its products' use in stores during March.

Walmart plans to deploy Brain Corp. robots in 1,860 U.S. stores, with robots that scan shelf inventory to be deployed at 1,000 stores, and bots that automatically scan boxes as they come off trucks and sort them by department onto conveyor belts at 1,700 outlets by year's end.

Other grocers are testing automated micro-fulfillment centers in which robots prepare and fulfill orders, which gives rise to concerns that such automation will cause low-wage jobs to disappear.

From CNN Business
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