The aim is to build new warehouses at select stores where self-driving robots will grab groceries and prepare orders for shoppers for pickup "in an hour or less." While the company did not reveal how many of the warehouses will be put into motion, construction has already launched on stores in areas including Texas, Utah, and Arkansas following the launch of a test site more than one year ago in New Hampshire.
To be clear, the plans do not include the in-store aisle roaming of robots. The robots, per the retailer, will only be inside the warehouse portion of these sites. In select locales, customers will be able to watch robots while they work thanks to special windows.
"It's no secret our customers love the speed and convenience of pickup and delivery," a Walmart rep said in a press release on Wednesday. "These local fulfillment centers help unlock our ability to expand even faster to meet their needs today, while also setting a new foundation to serve them in the future."
Robots, generally speaking, last made headlines thanks to reports that Tom Cruise had put robots on the set of the new Mission: Impossible franchise entry to help with maintaining pandemic-related safety guidelines. Such reports, however, sadly turned out to be false.