Giant Food Stores announced earlier this month that each of its Giant/Martin’s and Stop & Shop stores will soon feature a 6-foot, 5-inch, 130-pound robot named Marty. Marty will scan the aisles for fallen items, and will move around slowly enough for customers to take selfie’s with it, according to President Nicholas Bertram.
The effort is being hailed as the largest front-of-store robot rollout in the world.
Badger Technologies CEO Tim Rowland explained that Marty can detect objects and movement, and will avoid bumping into shoppers. If something falls off a shelf, Marty will find it and activate an alert system that will result in an employee coming to pick up the item. Badger Technologies partnered with Giant’s parent company, Ahold, to create the robot.
Marty also has the capability to scan shelves for out-of-stock items, but that is not part of the initial rollout.
According to Giant, the new technology will not replace employees; rather, it will “replace tasks.”
Last October, Walmart said that 78 stores had a self-driving robot cleaning floors, and that they planned to expand the technology to 360 stores.