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WSJ: Walmart Ends In-Store Robotics Partnership, Will Use Associates Instead

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Walmart has reportedly ended its partnership with Bossa Nova Robotics, which had involved an effort to automate certain in-store tasks through the use of robots, according to The Wall Street Journal. People familiar with the matter said the retail giant found different solutions that worked just as well.

The rise of store fulfillment and curbside pickup has led to more associates traveling through Walmart’s aisles, which generated new data on inventory problems, according to sources. The retailer is now looking for ways to use these workers to monitor product amounts and locations, although it still uses robots for tasks such as floor scrubbing.

Walmart’s departure from Bossa Nova marks a change in strategy. As recently as January, the retailer had planned to add robots to 650 additional U.S. stores by the end of summer, which would have brought the devices to a total of 1,000 locations. At the time, officials stated that the shelf-scanning robots could handle tasks that previously took up to two weeks to complete as often as twice a day.

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