Walmart, America’s multinational retail company and also amongst its largest private employers, has introduced robots in its stores to carry out repetitive and un-productive work so that other employees working in the stores can focus on more important tasks. As of now, the Company has deployed these robots at 1500 locations. It claims that the robots can carry out various tasks, such as cleaning floors, sorting inventory and scanning shelves.
But the idea of automating these tasks through these machines has not gone down well with the employees or the customers. According to the staff, these robots are making their jobs far from enjoyable as they have to constantly train and tend to these machines.
The employees feel that instead of reducing their burden, these machines have increased their workload. The Auto-C self-floor cleaners had to be revived as the robots broke down at times, and even took off-route detours of the store.
The machines also scared away some customers. For instance, the Auto-S scanner, which stands six feet tall, creeps into the aisles to scan products. The customers find it difficult to interact with these machines.
Walmart, on the other hand, claims that these robots are meant to relieve the store workers from day-to-day, mundane and repetitive tasks so that they are able to focus more on attending to the customers and increasing store sales.