Amazon’s robot supermarket to open to the public
The future is here! Grocery shopping is about to get a whole lot simpler thanks to Amazon. The company has announced plans to launch a robot supermarket aimed at streamlining the shopping process by eliminating the checkout line completely.
Back in December, the company announced the debut of Amazon Go, an automated convenience store run through a mobile app. Guests simply scan the app to enter the store and begin shopping. Anything customers grab from the shelves will be automatically added to their app shopping cart. Thanks to the sensor vision also found in self-driving cars, Amazon’s “just walk out” technology allows guests to skip the checkout process and simply walk out of the store while the app adds up your cart and charges your Amazon account.
Now, the New York Post is reporting that Amazon plans to expand upon this concept by launching a much larger supermarket version. The automated, two-story supermarket will be primarily run by artificial intelligence and a minimum of only 3 human staff members. A staff of robots on the top floor will be able to grab items and deliver them to customers waiting below in cars.
On the ground level will be a much larger version of the Amazon Go convenience store, spanning anywhere from 10,000 to 40,000 square feet with over 4,000 different grocery items.
According to the Post, Amazon ultimately plans to roll out the robot supermarket globally, using state-of-the-art technology to cut down on labor costs. Amazon already relies heavily on automation in its warehouses and has begun using drones for deliveries.
The downside of automation, of course, is that humans get put out of work. The average traditional supermarket staffs about 90 employees.
But an Amazon spokesperson told DailyMail that Amazon Go will have “at least as many associates as a traditional retail store. Amazon Go associates work both in the kitchen and the store, preparing ingredients, making breakfast, lunch, and dinner items, stocking shelves, and helping customers.”
The first Amazon Go store launched in Seattle and is currently only available to Amazon employees. Once the Beta program is complete, the store will open to the public later this year.
By Rory Arnold, Earth.com Staff Writer