'It's a little scary': Wal-Mart launches new shelf-scanning robots in 50 stores

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  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    March 23, 2018 3:22 p.m.

    @nancybLV

    "Even though this article says it won't take human jobs yes it will it already is"

    No, actually it's creating jobs. In the robotics industry. Jobs that pay a lot better than stocking shelves at Wal Mart.

  • Sad Sack Hurricane, UT
    March 23, 2018 2:10 p.m.

    I wonder if it will also automatically order merchandise that is either out of stock, or short on stock. Our local Walmarts all look like they are going out of business, because of no merchandise on the shelf. Or even worse, they "face" the shelves, so that it doesn't look like a bare shelf, but when you go looking for item X, you find 20 rows of item Y that are only one item deep.
    And the constant changing of the merchandise locations is not making customers happy. Or employees, for that matter.
    Some of these corporate hot shots should have to actually work in a store, before being taken in to the corporate office. And made to do a "refresher" in a store every five years or so.
    I understand that Walmart is fighting an uphill battle, with brick and mortar stores giving way to on line stores. But it seems to me that they powers that be would be doing everything in their power to keep the customers happy in their stores.

  • No One Of Consequence West Jordan, UT
    March 23, 2018 2:08 p.m.

    All these robo-phobes! Robots are just here to do the jobs humans won't do.

  • NeifyT Salt Lake City, UT
    March 23, 2018 12:12 p.m.

    I was originally thinking of writing about the size of the robot; but Kranlon beat me to the punch. Yes, that looks a lot closer to 3 feet; maybe even 3.5 feet on the tall side (or those are some giant cereal boxes). Hobbit-sized really. Which might make it more intrusive when people bump into it with their cart before they see it. Maybe it can navigate around carts and boxes placed in its way; but can it predict human behavior and avoid?

    I also remember when Walmart used to be Wal*Mart, and I think it was even Wal (smilieface) Mart at one point. They seem to rebrand fairly often. And yet, who even notices? They sure do need a lesson on branding; if not necessarily marketing.

    ----

    Unrelated thoughts; but I recently haphazardly and jokingly told someone that "radar" was so "20th century" when he/she used the phrase "it's not even on their radar" during a conversation. Since then I wondered just what is the 21st century equivalent. Now seeing LiDAR in three major different applications. Robots in stores, self-driving cars, and archeology. Even though LiDAR has been around a long time to; I think LiDAR will be the radar equivalent in the 21st century.

  • JLindow St George, UT
    March 23, 2018 9:04 a.m.

    The editors at the Deseret News seem take every opportunity to point out that robots are scary.

    I've had a robot cleaning my floors for the past two years, and I can assure you that it isn't the least bit scary. Dumb and annoying on a regular basis, but never scary. Well, except to our chihuahua when it corners him, but that doesn't count.

  • Flipphone Sandy, UT
    March 23, 2018 8:49 a.m.

    Over time technology will take over Jobs, Employees are just to expensive,and California is a perfect location for technology to take over jobs.

  • Kralon HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA
    March 23, 2018 8:30 a.m.

    1. "It’s unobtrusive, it just carries on.” There is no way a 6 foot robot is unobtrusive in a store. But, the one pictured is clearly not 6 feet tall, more like 3 feet tall, still not unobtrusive.

    2. "Wal-Mart executives don’t think this will overtake human jobs, either." Then, Walmart (yes, the name was changed, there is no dash anymore and the m is lowercase) executives really need some better advisers on technology, human resources and marketing spin.

    You start off with the jobs that most people do not like to do, which only bothers a few people, and then move up. I can definitely see a time coming when there are no Walmart employees in a store.

    I'm not against automation, I just want it to happen slowly so people have time to adjust. If automation brings savings then some of those savings should be dedicated to helping people retrain for other jobs. I think it will be a great world if menial tasks can be done by automation leaving humans more time to attend to important tasks like human development and relationships.

  • nancybLV Saratoga Springs, UT
    March 23, 2018 7:01 a.m.

    Even though this article says it won't take human jobs yes it will it already is.....Customer Service at Walmart does it really exist and will it get better with robots I highly doubt it....Walmart right now wants us to believe it will be OK no one will loose their job CS will pick up but robots are the future and yes people will and are loosing jobs because of robots and self check out registers.