Ecommerce companies already use robots for materials transport and picking orders , but brick-and-mortar stores don’t want to be left out of the automation trend.
Now Lowe’s joins the growing list of retailers that are using artificial intelligence to help with both logistics and customer service. The home improvement store will start rolling out autonomous retail service robots to 11 California stores over the next seven months.
Lowe’s partnered with Silicon Valley technology firm Fellow Robots to develop LoweBot, a 5-foot-tall NAVii machine that can navigate itself through store aisles while avoiding obstacles. The two companies have previously worked together to develop a similar robot that has been tested for the last two years in Orchard Supply Hardware, a chain owned by Lowe’s.