May 12, 2019

NO ONE WILL MISS WORK:

RETAIL ROBOTS (MELISSA HELLMAN, 5/11/19, The Seattle Times)

When an autonomous floor scrubber was rolled out in Walmart's Bonney Lake store last month, shoppers mistook the teal blue scrubber zipping down the aisles for a runaway machine, said manager David Klein. "Some customers are a little freaked out."

Klein said the Auto-C robot has relieved his employees of several hours of cleaning every evening, and has allowed him to avoid hiring another maintenance worker on the previously understaffed team. The 4-foot-tall scrubber, which resembles a riding lawn mower but is considerably quieter, uses sensors to scan its environment and to avoid people or objects in its way.

The San Diego-based tech company, called Brain Corp., that makes the Auto-C robot's operating system, also provides the software that powers autonomous floor cleaners at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

At Walmart, the automated machines are just part of a push to bring this pioneer of big-box discounting into the future of brick-and-mortar retail, with implications for its workforce that are still unknown.

Oh, they're known; they're just not accepted because they require finding an alternative way to distribute the wealth we create.

Posted by at May 12, 2019 7:18 AM

  

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