Walmart turns to automated picking robots to meet 80% rise in online orders

Automation

Walmart is launching dozens of high-tech warehouses staffed entirely by robots to help it meet the staggering increase in demand for online orders.

The automated robots will be used to pick frozen and refrigerated food in small local warehouses across the US, which will sit within or next to existing stores.

The US’ largest physical retailer is aiming to dramatically decrease picking times for online orders which have shot up a whopping 79 per cent year-on-year during its most recent quarter.

READ MORE: Walmart to open holiday pop-ups to meet demand for online orders

“The whole process can take just a few minutes from the time the order is placed to the time it’s ready for a customer or delivery driver to collect,” Walmart’s head of customer product Tom Ward said.

While Walmart employees will still be needed to handle fresh grocery products and complete more complex tasks, the retailer is also understood to be experimenting with automated pick-up system.

This would present the customers’ orders at a hatch after they scan a code on their smartphone.

Walmart’s latest move could potentially reduce the costs of picking online orders by 75 per cent according to Jefferies, helping ease the dramatic cost increases incurred by expanding its online and delivery capabilities so rapidly.

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Automation

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