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Walmart testing drones in distribution centres

Walmart neighborhood market California 725 x 500

The New York Times has reported that Walmart is testing flying drones in several of its larger US warehouses and expects to deploy them for use in distribution centres with six to nine months.

The drones are being used to catalogue goods in warehouses, flying above the stacked items and taking images at a rate of 30 per second. Walmart’s VP of logistics strategy, Shekar Natarajan, said, “It’s really the technology that mounts on the drones that makes it very important,” advising that the drones could catalogue the same amount of stock in one day as employees using manual scanning techniques could in one month, allowing them to work on other tasks.

In the most recent quarter, Walmart reported sales of $115.9 billion, but CEO Doug McMillon said that its online trading growth of 7% is ‘too slow’.

The retail giant applied to the Federal Aviation Administration for permission to test drones in 2015, having committed to invest $2.7 billion in the business to help it compete with an ever-increasing number of low-cost competitors, including Amazon.

Walmart currently operates 190 distribution centres, each providing stock for between 100 and 150 stores.

Source : Insight DIY

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20 June 2016

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