Walmart testing out robots in select U.S. stores

MILPITAS, California -- Dozens of Walmart stores across the country, including three locations in the South Bay, are now testing automation to handle tasks that are repeatable and predictable.

Eyewitness News was at the McCarthy Ranch Walmart in Milpitas as customers saw the AI technology in action for the first time.

RELATED: California restaurant debuts burger flipping robot

EMBED More News Videos

Next time you visit the CaliBurger in Pasadena, your order might be prepared by a robot named "Flippy."

Robots have been deployed to scan shelves for out-of-stock items, and check for incorrect prices, as well as mislabeled items. The data is collected in real-time and then transmitted back to a cloud database which associates can check to see what needs to be replenished.

The automated units are being produced by Bossa Nova Robotics, which is headquartered in San Francisco's Dogpatch neighborhood. Company officials tell us the new shelf-scanning technology took nearly six years to develop.

In addition to Walmart, Bossa Nova Robotics employees are also currently working with three other national retailers to test the technology. Walmart officials say the robots will help free associates to focus more on delivering a better customer service experience.

RELATED: Shopping for toy robots? Read this before you buy

EMBED More News Videos

Before you buy a toy robot, you must check out this report!

Some customers expressed concern about the role of automation in retail and the possibility of jobs being eliminated. However, others believe the technology make their trips to the store smoother.

Walmart insists the project is still in pilot mode, as the company works to gather feedback from its associates and customers on whether or not the robots are getting in the way. The robots, which engineers liken to a self-driving vehicle, will likely be used during the early-morning hours unless additional testing needs to be conducted throughout the day.

PHOTOS: Robots spotted across Bay Area
Copyright © 2019 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.