Home Bots & Business Vallarta Supermarkets test data-gathering autonomous robots

Vallarta Supermarkets test data-gathering autonomous robots

by Pieter Werner

Badger Technologies has deployed a pilot program with Vallarta Supermarkets, a chain of 53 full-service markets throughout California, to reinforce operational and customer-service excellence. Badger Technologies multipurpose autonomous robots support the retailer by identifying hazards at five Vallarta Supermarkets in Fresno, Kern, Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties. Vallarta also is testing the robot’s inventory management capabilities at a sixth location aimed at improving on-shelf product availability.

Vallarta’s initial proof-of-concept (POC) featured a robot equipped with Badger Retail InSpect to complement existing manual floor inspections with automatic hazard detection. After the POC exceeded expectations, Vallarta implemented a five-store pilot to support them in identifying hazards, such as spills of liquids, powders or bulk-item foods, while potentially mitigating risks of slip-and-fall accidents.

Hazard notifications are delivered by the robot to the store’s public-address system and mobile pulse alerts. Images are collected and stored for a period, for archival purposes. “The robot gives us another pair of eyes to be more proactive in pinpointing spills and debris,” said Suzanne Wong, Director of Operational Excellence at Vallarta Supermarkets. “The result is heightened awareness among our staff and customers that we place a big priority on store safety and cleanliness. Other benefits include improvements in customer service, labor efficiency and data for risk management.”

Data-Driven Business Outcomes

Vallarta Supermarkets has further initiated a POC at a sixth store to test a robot equipped with Badger Retail InSight for automated detection of out-of-stock product inventory. Cloud-based analytics and reporting software generate a list of absent, misplaced and/or mispriced products for issue remediation. Dashboard data provides insights into customer buying trends along with the performance of product displays and advertising promotions. This automated process also assists Vallarta’s pricing departments with collaborating and prioritizing product restocking.

Nearly 600 Badger Technologies autonomous robots have been deployed throughout the U.S. and Australia. These multipurpose robots travel hundreds of thousands of miles each year to support keeping shelves stocked, products priced correctly and floors clean.

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