Local news. Locally owned.

Is that a robot rolling down the aisle at Albertsons and Walmart? Yep. Here’s what it’s for

ICCU Idaho

If you thought you saw a robot roaming the aisles at your local Albertsons – you aren’t seeing things.

The company rolled out the robots at three Boise area stores earlier this year, according to company spokesperson Kathy Holland. We spotted the Bossa Nova in the company’s new store at 1219 S. Broadway.

Here’s how it works.

The robots wander up and down the aisles and shine a light on the shelves. Paired with 3D cameras and artificial intelligence, the robot captures what is on the shelf and creates a report that tells store managers what products might be out of stock or running low or incorrectly priced.

The robot works around workers, carts and guests.

A customer looks at the Bossa Nova robot at Albertsons on Broadway Ave. in Boise. Photo: Don Day/BoiseDev
- Story continues below ads -
The Sundance Company
Tamarack Summer

Sarjoun Skaff, company co-founder told TechCrunch that the technology took about six years to get right. Walmart will roll out the robot in more than 350 of its stores around the country.

For Albertsons, Holland said the robots are a key part of new company CEO Vivek Sankaran’s push to focus on technology – both in stores and through online channels. The company is at work on an array of tech-focused initiatives as competition for the grocery market heats up.  The retailer now offers home delivery, in-store pickup, and recently relaunched its gas station program.

The Boise-based company has nearly 2,300 stores nationwide and often tests concepts in stores close to its home base.

Both Albertsons and Walmart said the robots don’t alleviate the need for labor – but instead give retailers more insight into store supplies than they might otherwise be able to do by hand – or that would be a tedious task for a worker.

Love our stories? Get them delivered straight to your inbox each afternoon. Plus, support BoiseDev's independent journalism.

Popular

Micron continues large-scale revamp of Boise campus with latest project

Boise-based Micron Technology continues its large-scale revamp of the Boise campus. A newly-issued building permit shows the tech. giant...

Report: Boise tech firm Clearwater Analytics considers sale or other options

Clearwater Analytics, a Boise-based firm that helps companies with financial software solutions, could soon find new owners. Reuters reports...

Related

Albertsons exec joins Boise VC firm StageDotO

Former Albertsons Companies Executive VP Andy Scoggin will join Boise venture capital firm StageDotO as a partner. "I first...

Albertsons latest retailer to start requiring masks nationwide

Boise-based Albertsons Companies will soon start requiring mask usage in all its stores nationwide. The retailer operates stores under its own name,...
Holland and Hart

Latest

Report: Boise tech firm Clearwater Analytics considers sale or other options

Clearwater Analytics, a Boise-based firm that helps companies with financial software solutions, could soon find new owners. Reuters reports...

Project would tuck condos onto site of single-family home

A proposal to add 16 condos on the site of a single-family home will go through the City of Boise's planning process...

Boise, McLean name building award winners: affordable housing, Boise State, Ronald McDonald House & more

The City of Boise announced the 2020 Building Excellence Award winners. They allocate the awards to people, businesses and organizations who helped...

Country, news, public radio got listeners’ attention during spring radio ratings

The twice-yearly ratings for Boise's radio stations hit the streets late last month. For the second ratings period in a row, they...

Mother-daughter owned Meridian business stays afloat with live social media sales

By Karen Lehr / Idaho News 6 The coronavirus pandemic is forcing many...

Housing and health: Saint Al’s partners with LEAP to help create more affordable housing in Boise

Saint Alphonsus Health System and LEAP Housing Solutions have partnered up to create a land trust. LEAP, an...