Grocery chain Giant Food Stores will be rolling out 500 robots across certain locations in the next six months.
The robot model—known as Marty—is equipped to detect and inform workers of spills, out-of-stock or misplaced items, and can perform price checks as well, but its most adorable feature is a set of googly eyes at the top of its tower-like structure.
The #robots are coming. GIANT says its bringing new robotic assistant to all of its 172 stores. “Marty,” a tall gray robot with googly eyes, will soon be working alongside associates, moving around unassisted to identify hazards, such as spills.#AI #Future #Technology #NewJersey pic.twitter.com/8BaDxHsNtl
— Trenton Bureau (@TrentonBureau) January 14, 2019
Meet Marty the Robot – @GiantFoodStores’s newest addition. The grocery chain says they will be rolling it out in all 172 of its stores “following successful pilots that improved in-store efficiencies and freed employees up to better serve customers.” pic.twitter.com/KpwH6GxWP8
— Kyle Cooper WGAL (@WGALStoryteller) January 14, 2019
The 500 robots will be dispersed across locations in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia in what is likely to be the biggest rollout of autonomous robots in the grocery industry.
While Marty certainly comes with advantages that machines tend to have over human employees, no jobs will be lost to Marty, whose function it is to assist workers at the grocery locations, rather than to replace them.
And prospective customers seem to like him as well.
I've never been more proud of my home state.
— Benjamin Short (@Svartorn) January 15, 2019
Giving @StopandShop some love today. One of your stores includes Marty, a robot circling around the place. Finding him awesome (and cute).
— Amanda Bassett (@mndbsstt) July 27, 2018
However, as with a lot of new technology, many have their doubts.