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For Walmart, Humans Win Over Robots

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Walmart  (WMT) - Get Walmart Inc. Report is ditching its plans to use automated robots to keep track of inventory levels at its stores, finding humans do similar if not better than machines.

Walmart on Monday announced that it has ended its contract with robotics company Bossa Nova Robotics, which it had partnered with over the past five years to gradually add six-foot-tall inventory-scanning robotic machines to its stores.

Walmart ended the partnership because it found different, sometimes simpler solutions that proved just as useful – something that came to light during the coronavirus pandemic as more shoppers flock to online delivery and pickup, forcing Walmart to have workers physically walk store aisles to collect online orders.

The increased number and frequency of real-life people roving isles also helped Walmart better monitor its inventory levels, including keeping tabs on product amounts and locations.

Tracking inventory has become even more relevant amid the pandemic as retailers not only need to ensure the quantity of goods on hand matches what is shown online but that supply chain issues are also properly addressed by knowing as early as possible when producers are running low.

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