Drones May One Day Buzz inside a Walmart near You

Discussion in '[H]ard|OCP Front Page News' started by Megalith, Mar 19, 2017.

  1. Megalith

    Megalith 24-bit/48kHz Staff Member

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    Not that I really shop at Walmart these days, but I have to wonder how often the company is going to get sued when they let drones loose in their stores and they inevitably malfunction, dropping an item on a guest’s head or flying into somebody. The drones would supposedly fly directly over shelves and avoid the aisles, but the patent doesn’t rule out humans and flying delivery assistants crossing paths.

    The retail giant was granted a patent this week for a system in which drones would shuttle products between different departments inside its stores. The idea is to free customers from having to walk across its super-sized emporiums to find what they want and from having to wait while employees return from far-away storerooms. Ultimately, Walmart believes that drones “can greatly improve the customer experience without overburdening the human associates of the facility.” Waiting, the filing said, “can contribute to reduced customer satisfaction.”
     
  2. Skirge01

    Skirge01 [H]Lite

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    Please tell me this isn't going to be the new "do it with a computer" patent trend.
     
    Wrecked Em likes this.
  3. Poseur

    Poseur Limp Gawd

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    There's only so many places to go for food. If I have to avoid Walmart, that leaves one store to shop at and their much more expensive.
     
  4. Nukester

    Nukester Gawd

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    Love the part where it says they help shoppers avoid having to go across the store. Yeah, I've seen Walmart shoppers, they need to do laps around the store, not walk less.
     
  5. Johnx64

    Johnx64 [H]ardness Supreme

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    I think the real goal is to have a system that automatically stocks the shelves once an item is sold so they can get rid of everyone but Asset protection and a few managers. More than likely they will have a false ceiling or have ducts or something for them to travel through so they are at less of a risk of something falling on someone.
     
  6. Snappshoota

    Snappshoota [H]ard|Gawd

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    And have even less check outs open. I honestly wouldnt put it past Walmart!! Hell the one here cant even have all of its automatic check outs open.. "That machine doesnt have any money in it, you cant use it" Then why have it?
     
  7. Johnx64

    Johnx64 [H]ardness Supreme

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    Ours always has all 9 self checkouts open. When they don't have money they are switched to credit\debit only mode.
     
  8. Grimlaking

    Grimlaking [H]ard|Gawd

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    You know these drones will have cameras and be used by the Loss Prevention staff at Walmart. And those will have free reign on flight path. I'm just waiting for one to have a battery die and a customer to stuff one in some luggage and steal it. lol
     
  9. DeathFromBelow

    DeathFromBelow [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Having worked as a stocker, the idea of flying drones stocking the store overnight is laughable.

    This project sounds like asset protection disguised as a service for customers.
     
  10. Johnx64

    Johnx64 [H]ardness Supreme

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    Having been an overnight stocker then inventory control at walmart I see it as something they would do just the same as how amazon has robots picking and packing items instead they will pick and stock shelves. They've already been testing smart shelves to better track inventory it's eventually going to lead to it all being automated. It won't happen overnight but it's going to happen.
     
  11. MrGreg62

    MrGreg62 Lurker

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    I don't know about the states but in Canadian Walmarts or at least the one I used to work for there is no more "stockroom" as such. It's just a receiving room now as everything that comes off a truck must go out on the sales floor whether there's a proper place on the shelves or not. Looks at lot more like loss prevention than anything else.
     
  12. Grimlaking

    Grimlaking [H]ard|Gawd

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    Problem is you still need people. But if you can visually tag shoppers you are suspicious of and have drones auto "shadow" these people trading out based on recharge time so you can get recordings of what they are doing... SOME LP will probably use it to track hot chicks in low cut tops.
     
  13. Uncle

    Uncle 2[H]4U

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    If stores are worried about being sued, may I suggest a sign as you enter Walmart, 'Warning Use store at your own Risk", takes care of legalities.;)