Retail giant seeks patent on robot carts to streamline the shopping experience.
Talk of self-driving cars is everywhere lately, and now Walmart wants to take the whole autonomous operation concept to a shopping cart. Really?
Apparently, the company has filed a patent for a self-driving robot cart that would address some of users’ pain points with maneuvering through crowded aisles and with the whole shopping experience in general. According to a Popular Science article, the robot cart design takes aim at common problems such as employees being unavailable or untrained to adequately support customers, aisles made messy by abandoned carts and displaced inventory.
Popular Science explains the patented technology as putting a Roomba-like robot under the cart, which enables it to be driven around the store as directed by the shopper. There was discussion of a track system to enable carts to easily travel around the store to pick up other carts or locate products, and obviously, a tie in to the sensor-rich environment that is Walmart’s store and supply chain system.
Seems a bit like overkill to me, but as we’ve seen from popular Internet memes, anything can happen in a Walmart store.