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Walmart is taking on Amazon with its own autonomous warehouse robot – the Alphabot

Who’s ready for a robotic future?

Walmart alphabot
Image: Walmart

Walmart might be the only US retailer big enough to go toe-to-toe with the might of Amazon, and it’s doing exactly that with its new warehouse robot, Alphabot. This autonomous order picker can handle the bulk of online grocery orders, bringing the picked items out from the warehouse ready for delivery.

This is the latest in a string of grocery delivery innovations by the retail giant, and they’ve only just gotten started.

Walmart’s Alphabot is an autonomous order picking robot

We’ve seen Amazon’s warehouse robots before, but now Walmart is getting in on the act. Alphabot is an automated grocery selection robot, which brings items (which could be anything from frozen goods to dry goods) to an associate for double-checking and bagging. The only things it can’t handle (yet) are perishables or fresh produce, so those are still picked by human hands.

  • Walmart’s other grocery delivery innovations include tests for driverless grocery deliveries and automated grocery order selection, as well as the direct-to-fridge program which lets the delivery person into your home so you don’t have to unpack anything
  • Alphabot can pick almost any type of grocery item, bringing it out of the warehouse to paid staff who then bag the items
  • The distribution center in Salem that is using Alphabot is running at 20 percent capacity, with thirty bots on the go handling 170 orders per day (Bloomberg)

If the industry keeps going in the same direction, almost everything will be available for home delivery in the future, with the bulk of those deliveries handled by robots, self-driving cars, and other high-tech solutions. You’ll never have to leave the house again!

What do you think? Are you interested in seeing more of the Alphabot? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere. His hobbies include photography, animation, and hoarding Reddit gold.

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