Watch out for Marty, the googly-eyed retail robot

Company Press Release — Nearly 500 robots will be coming to the stores of Ahold Delhaize USA brands Stop & Shop and Giant/Martin’s, marking one of the largest deployments of robotics innovation in the U.S. grocery industry. The rollout stems from a partnership between Retail Business Services – the services company of Ahold Delhaize USA – and Badger Technologies, a product division of Jabil, and follows successful pilots that improved in-store efficiencies and safety.

“As part of our continued focus on technology transformation, we’re pleased to support one of the most significant deployments of robotics innovation in the grocery retail industry,” said Paul Scorza, EVP and Chief Information Officer for Retail Business Services. “Several companies in the grocery retail space have recently begun testing or using in-store robots – something Retail Business Services and the local brands we serve have been doing for some time. We’re pleased to support the Giant/Martin’s and Stop & Shop brands as they now lead the industry from test to large-scale usage of robots and to see the benefits the technology continues to drive for their businesses.”

The in-store robots, named Marty, were easily recognized by customers in stores by their friendly appearance where they were tested and used to identify hazards, such as liquid, powder and bulk food item spills and provide reporting that enables corrective action. They help stores mitigate risk caused by such spills, as well as enabled associates to spend more time serving and interfacing with customers.

“We are excited to be part of this industry-leading rollout of fully autonomous robots that collect safety data while traversing retail stores,” said Frederic McCoy, Senior Vice President of Jabil Retail. “Real-time hazard alerts empower stores to resolve incidents like spills, as well as improve operations.”

The deployment of robots at Giant/Martin’s and Stop & Shop is underway and will continue through the early part of 2019. Other Ahold Delhaize USA brands continue to test with autonomous robots in select stores.

See the robots in action, from YouTube users: