1. Commerce
December 3, 2018

Walmart adds robots to automate in-store cleaning

By Lucy Ingham

US retail giant Walmart has announced that it has entered a partnership with Brain Corp to automate floor cleaning in its retail stores. The Walmart robots are powered by Brain Corp’s AI-powered operating system BrainOS.

The robots perform an initial training ride to map a route through each store, before beginning autonomous cleaning duties when instructed.

Equipped with multiple sensors that scan for both people and obstacles, the robots are able to operate while the stores are open, an essential feature given many Walmart stores are open 24 hours a day.

360 of the Walmart robots will be in operation in stores by the end of the company’s fiscal year: 31 January 2019.

“We are thrilled to partner with Walmart to enhance customer experience at its retail locations,” said Dr Eugene Izhikevich, CEO of Brain Corp.

“BrainOS technology allows robots to effectively and safely function in complex, crowded environments, ensuring increased productivity and efficiency across applications. We look forward to continuing to work alongside Walmart to help build intelligent, connected stores.”

Walmart robots powered by BrainOS

The robots are powered by Brain Corp’s artificial intelligence-powered operating system BrainOS, which handles autonomous navigation and data collection.

All the robots are connected to a cloud-based reporting system, which allows them to be monitored and managed, and aids in their day-to-day operation.

For Walmart, it is an opportunity to automate repetitive tasks and free up the time of human workers.

“We’re excited to work with Brain Corp in supporting our retail operations and providing our associates with a safe and reliable technology,” said John Crecelius, Walmart’s VP of Central Operations.

“BrainOS is a powerful tool in helping our associates complete repetitive tasks so they can focus on other tasks within role and spend more time serving customers.”

The robots are an example of a growing trend of autonomous machines designed to work alongside humans, with industries as diverse as construction, oil and gas and chemistry developing custom robots for industry-specific applications.

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