Grocery store pick up and delivery has been a thing for a while now, but you still have to put in your order a good while in advance before you can go pick it up. And even then, your stuff’s usually been sitting in a locker for a while by the time you get to it. Walmart’s got an idea to eliminate the wait time. All it takes is a friendly little robot.
The Alphabot is the latest brainchild of Alert Innovation, an engineering firm in Billerica, Massachusetts. Commissioned by Walmart, this boxy bot is designed to move up and across stacks of dry, cold, and frozen products and load them into blue totes (no produce, though, the team figured you’d want to get that yourself). The moment it receives a wireless order, the Alphabot gets to work gathering every item on the list at an impressive speed. By the development team’s estimate, the Alphabot can fill about 600 items worth of orders in an hour.
The Alphabot began its first live-fire run at the Walmart in Salem, New Hampshire in October. Customers can send orders online and come to the store to pick them up, and a delivery option is planned for later.