It is commonplace for shoppers to see staff stocking shelves and keeping stores clean and safe. A new sight in the coming year, however, will be the appearance of Marty – a wheeled robot that patrols aisles to alert human staff when there is a spill or inventory that fell off the shelf. The robot will signal an off-site operator who will then notify store staff. Once the notice is acknowledged, Marty returns to the site of the broken jar of mayonnaise, sprig of basil or fallen box of containing a Nerf toy and waits. The staff then presses a button on Marty acknowledging a cleanup.
A new phase in store safety
Marty moves using laser sensors and stops when a person or cart is in its path. It is equipped with eight cameras that monitor the floor as well as inventory on the shelves. While this job was previously done by humans, this automation is implemented with an eye towards increasing the safety of customers. According to news reports, 500 of these robots are scheduled to go into WalMart, Stop & Shop and elsewhere.
Unfortunately, no solution is foolproof
The cost of these machines was not listed in news stories, but this kind of technology does not come cheap. It is a clear illustration of how much stores are concerned with slip and falls by customers and employees as well as the cost involved when it does happen. Those who are injured in a fall at store should seek medical help immediately. It is also a good idea for the injured individual or their family to contact an attorney with experience handling injuries involving slip-and-falls or other issues where someone acts negligently.