Walmart's newest janitors are robots.
The world's largest retailer by revenue will soon have autonomous robots scrubbing the floors of hundreds of Walmart stores across the U.S. Walmart will deploy 360 floor-scrubbing robots armed with computer vision and AI capabilities in hundreds of its stores by the end of January 2019, the company said this week in a joint press release with San Diego-based AI company Brain Corporation.
Brain Corp. makes the robot floor scrubbers, called the Auto-C, powered by the company's BrainOS technology platform, which includes autonomous navigation that uses multiple sensors to scan the robots' surroundings for obstacles, like people. (That means the autonomous robots could even be used when customers are in the store.)
"BrainOS technology allows robots to effectively and safely function in complex, crowded environments, ensuring increased productivity and efficiency across applications," Brain Corp. CEO Dr. Eugene Izhikevich said in a statement.
The BrainOS-powered robots also use artificial intelligence to collect information about their environment and adapt to those surroundings.
Walmart employees will be able to map out cleaning routes for the AI-supported robot scrubbers and then send them off on unmanned cleaning missions "with the press of a single button," the companies said in the press release.