Walmart Lays Off Robots in Favor of Human Workers

Walmart says it will no longer use robots to check inventories.
Inventory robot roaming an Arkansas Walmart. Getty

Humans needed on aisle six! Walmart has announced it will no longer use robots to check inventories on store shelves, saying instead that people were more reliable and cost-effective.

The big-box giant said it was ending its agreement with San Francisco-based Bossa Nova Robotics, which manufactures automated machines that use cameras to keep track of shelf products. 

The company had worked with Walmart for five years and its inventory-scanning robots were deployed in 500 of the chain's 4,756 stores nationwide, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Walmart’s U.S. director John Furner was concerned about how shoppers reacted to robots roaming the aisles, the paper reported.

Business has boomed for the retail chain under the coronavirus pandemic, with runs on products such as toilet paper and cleaning wipes. Though the robots can report empty shelves, they lack arms to restock them. 

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