On Monday, Giant Food Stores declared that it will put robotic assistants, Martys, in 172 stores of the supermarket throughout Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and West Virginia. The robots release is part of Ahold Delhaize USA’s plan to integrate almost 500 robots in shops like Martin’s, Giant, and Stop & Shop. According to Giant, the robots will start to arrive “in waves” in the coming days and it believes the devices will completely integrate in almost six months.  

“Bringing robotics and A.I. from a research lab to the sales floor has been a very exciting journey, and we were thrilled by the customer response in our pilot stores,” President of Giant Food Stores, Nicholas Bertram, claimed in an interview. “Our associates have worked hard to bring this innovation to life with amazing partners.”

The company claimed that robots move about the shop unaided, looking over the grounds for trip hazards and spills and that is that information is sent to human personnel. After a spill has been detected, the robot – that produces beeping noises as it travels – send the info through verbal communication.

For customer’s awareness, Marty claims, “caution, hazard detected,” and the machine also alerts the associates by sending a message by public address system of the store. Ahold USA’s manager of store optimization, Patrick Maturo, told PennLive that Marty also performs price checks and look through the shelves for any out of stock articles to observe any differences between the scanning system of the store and the shelf.

According to reports, Marty is integrated with scanners to escape crashes, has many cameras and is charged by rechargeable lithium batteries.

Maturo claimed that Marty is not displacing human work as it is only working as an assistant. According to him, customers have shown a very positive response. He claimed that people often “just walk right by” the robots. “Then there’s a large majority of people that are very excited to see a robot in the store,” he added.

“They tend to take pictures of it, video of it and selfies with the robot,” he said. “It’s very cool.”

Marty Robot Assistant

Giant store is not the only one to turn to robots for help. In December, Walmart declared strategy to put 360 unmanned robots in shops throughout the country latest by January’s end.

According to Last year’s McKinsey Global Institute report, robotics will permit employees to do new jobs in some firms, but it won’t stop thousands of people from requiring to change jobs or advance their expertise in the coming time.

The report states that almost 800 human jobs may be replaced by robots by 2030.  And, few of these jobs would be more like scrubbing floors of Walmart.

“Activities most susceptible to automation include physical ones in predictable environments, such as operating machinery and preparing fast food,” the report said. “Collecting and processing data are two other categories of activities that increasingly can be done better and faster with machines.”