Robots may soon be perusing the aisles of your neighborhood grocery store.
Robotic assistants will alert managers to spills and other hazards in nearly 500 Stop & Shop, Giant Food Stores and Giant Martin's stores, parent company Ahold Delhaize USA announced Monday. And unlike the scarier robots often depicted on TV or in films, these machines have a decidedly friendly appearance.
Dubbed "Marty," the in-store robots will be used to identify potential safety hazards such as spills of liquid, powder or bulk food items in store aisles and to issue an alert for clean up.
Robots are performing many tasks at other retailers. Walmart plans to havestore floors starting this month, and in Seattle and Chicago of cashiers and checkout lines.
In addition to owning PeaPod and several other brands, Ahold Delhaize operates 414 Stop & Shops in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island; 171 Giant Martin's in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia; and 167 Giant Food Stores.