IF YOU THINK shopping is tedious, try juggling 200,000 products in a Walmart. Not literally, of course, but somehow keeping the shelves stocked over an area of tens of thousands of square feet. For that you need a worker with a barcode scanner and an enviable amount of patience.
Or you could unleash a hard-working robot from a company called Bossa Nova. At over six feet tall, it roams the aisles, blasting shelves with light and snapping photos. In two minutes, it can image 80 feet of aisle, capturing a whopping 2 terabytes of raw data scanning a 100,000-square-foot-plus store. That makes it one of the first truly intelligent robots to work alongside humans in complex ways outside of factories.
Other than city streets, it’s hard to think of a more difficult environment for a robot to navigate than a store.