Amazon is in advanced talks to acquire self-driving car startup Zoox as it looks to expand its autonomous vehicle capabilities to address massive delivery costs, according to the Wall Street Journal. It has already invested heavily in autonomous technology, contributing to funding rounds for Aurora Innovation and Rivian Automotive LLC.
Walmart is expanding its fleet of shelf-scanning robots, adding 650 this year for a total of 1,000 as it looks to address nettlesome grocery out-of-stock issues and battle competitors with the technology like Ahold Delhaize’s Stop & Shop, Giant Eagle and Schnuck’s. It has also launched a micro fulfillment center at a New Hampshire store.
Maybe they should’ve stuck with “Walking in Memphis.” Several FedEx delivery robots, collectively dubbed Roxo, were seen prowling the streets of Manhattan recently, but instead of getting a red-carpet welcome they elicited some Bronx cheers, according to the New York Post. The city threatened to physically remove any it spotted.
Osaro, a San Francisco startup that makes robotic arms for ecommerce picking as well as vision and control software that can be integrated with other robotic solutions, has raised $16 million in a series B round, according to various reports. Early investors include former Facebook president Sean Parker and PayPal founder Peter Thiel.
While there are some concerns about robots replacing humans and taking their jobs, with U.S. unemployment at about 3.6% ecommerce companies are struggling to find enough workers. Thus companies are seeing robotics as a way to close the gap and augment human labor instead of replacing it. Find out more in a new MCM report.
Israeli firm CommonSense Robotics is building what it says is the world’s first underground automated fulfillment operation for grocery delivery, anticipating a future where facilities like this will occupy abandoned urban spaces above and below ground to fulfill one-hour deliveries for city dwellers.
Technology is shifting how merchants interact with customers more rapidly than ever before. Trends like the Internet of Things (IoT), connected devices and new approaches to knowledge management mean that merchants have a lot on their plates when it comes to evolving consumer expectations. Here is how retailers can win in the ever-changing retail environment.