Sam’s Club brings inventory scanning to floor-scrubbing robots

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Sam’s Club is adding aisle scanning functionality to robotic floor scrubbers already deployed at all of its 600 stores.

Plans call for Sam’s to begin installing Brain Corp’s Inventory Scan towers onto the fleet of Tennant Co. autonomous scrubbers powered by Brain’s software, the companies said Thursday. San Diego-based Brain, which specializes in artificial intelligence (AI) for robotics, noted that the rollout with Sam’s marks its largest and fastest technology deployment and the first commercial application of Inventory Scan.

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The cloud-connected Inventory Scan tower will allow the scrubbing robots to gather data as they travel the aisles of Sam’s Clubs. Reports are then sent to club managers to provide updates on pricing accuracy, planogram compliance, stock levels and product localization. Sam’s and Brain said the scanning capability replaces time-consuming manual processes and helps reduce waste and inventory loss. (For a video of the robots at work, click here.)

“Sam’s Club is hyper-focused on making sure our members have a seamless shopping experience, so any time-saving innovation we can implement is significant. By adding Inventory Scan to our current fleet of robotic scrubbers, we obtain critical inventory data that previously was time consuming to obtain,” Todd Garner, vice president of in-club product management at Sam’s Club, said in a statement. “This intelligence allows us to proactively manage our clubs in an efficient manner. Inventory Scan assures items are available and easy to locate in the club, freeing up time for our associates to focus on members and the shopping experience they deserve.”

Related: Walmart to expand in-store use of robots, automation

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