Robot stockboys to roam aisles at grocery store chain

Is this the beginning of Skynet? A robot is being hired to help out shoppers at a St. Louis grocery store chain.

Tally will be working the aisles at Schnucks grocery stores looking for items that are out of stock and checking on prices, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

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The robot is being tested at a store in the Richmond Heights area of the city. A second will be tested at another store in the Kirkwood area. The tests are expected to last about six weeks.

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If the robots end up working out, the program could be expanded to more stores in the chain.

Each Tally weighs about 30 pounds and stands at 38 inches tall. The base, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch looks like a robotic vacuum. When it’s low on power, Tally will return to its charger, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

It has sensors so it won’t bump into carts. And while Tally doesn’t have arms to actually, physically restock shelves, it does scan items to make sure they’re fully stocked. When they aren’t, it sends data to store management so they can have someone refill the products.

Tally is already being used in Target stores in San Francisco, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

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