Saturday June 04, 2016

Walmart Looks To Drones To Speed Distribution

If you work at a Walmart distribution center, there’s a good chance your position will be eliminated in the near future. While the loss of jobs is never a good thing, not even the best worker can beat the efficiency of a drone at these tasks.

Walmart, the country’s largest retailer, is testing the use of flying drones to handle inventory at its large warehouses, which supply the thousands of Walmart stores throughout the nation. In six to nine months, the company said, the machines may be used in one or more of its distribution centers. At a demonstration on Thursday at a dry goods distribution center here, a drone moved up and down an aisle packed nearly to the ceiling with boxes, taking 30 images per second. Shekar Natarajan, the vice president of last mile and emerging science, explained that the machines could help catalog in as little as a day what now takes employees about a month.