Meet Marty—a tall, googly-eyed, robotic worker that cleans up spills around grocery shops. He is set to roll out in Giant supermarkets around the US, with the completion of the rollout schedule hoping to be completed by mid-2019. Marty was initially released last year in two stores within the US, and following the reception, Marty was added to every store across four states.
Other leaders in retail across the US have been experimenting with robotic assistance. “It’s a part of how big US retailers are deploying data-rich technology to improve the often-tedious ritual of food shopping and keep pace with Amazon.com, which is bent on grabbing a bigger share of the $860 billion US food retail market,” according to a Bloomberg report last week.
The future looks bright for Marty, as the technology involved will only develop. Currently, the robot focusses on spill/slip hazards, but with development, it could move on to more advanced tasks. This allows grocery workers to focus on customer service. At this stage, company officials insist that Marty will not replace human employees.