Walmart is reportedly giving up on shelf-scanning robots in favor of humans

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Retail robots that can scan shelves and update inventory have been one of the most visible faces of automation in recent years, but the success of such machines is far from guaranteed. According to The Wall Street Journal, Walmart — one of the biggest adopters of this technology — is ending a contract that saw shelf-scanning robots appear in some 500 of its stores. Apparently, the retailer found that humans could do the job just as well.

Walmart began using robots supplied by Bossa Nova Robotics in 2017, with initial deployments in 50 locations. The mobile robots would simplify routine work in stores, said the company, using machine vision to scan shelves and identify what products needed restocking. Earlier this year, Bossa Nova said…

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