Walmart Grocery Robot Provider Bossa Nova Robotics Raises $29 Million
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - The next wave of robots could be coming to a grocery store near you. Fortunately, these little guys will be facilitating—not terminating—in the produce aisle and throughout the store. Bossa Nova Robotics, provider of in-store stocking robots already roaming 50 Walmart stores throughout the continental United States, recently completed a $29 million round of fundraising.
A VentureBeat report notes that the company will use this round of funds to accelerate robot production alongside its manufacturing partner Flex. And Bossa Nova’s Co-Founder and Chief Business Officer Martin Hitch told both VentureBeat and CNBC, this week, that the company plans to invest its recently raised $29 million into software research and development, hiring, and plans for international expansion, as well.
“The hires that we’ll make as a result of this funding are all software hires, and that’s really to focus on the data,” said Hitch. “So we certainly see our business model as ‘How do we extract more value from rich data?’ rather than ‘How do we build different robots to accomplish different tasks?’”
Bossa Nova’s robots use basic color photos and point-cloud images to understand depth, provide stores with inventory updates, and be aware, so to speak, of when items need to be restocked. Though the robots generally operate during times of day when fewer shoppers are present, they also use lidar and various sensors to negotiate people and obstacles as they roam aisles.
According to CNBC, Bossa Nova’s robots can work up to three times faster than human employees—with two-times greater accuracy. Stocking robots can also free up employees to help customers, assess the freshness of inventory, and take care of other key customer service and decision-making tasks.
Could grocery robots like Bossa Nova’s be a key factor in retailers’ success as they vie for market share in a changing industry? AndNowUKnow will continue to report on innovations in our industry.