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Cleanup On Aisle 9: Robots Arrive At Grocery Stores Near You

Stop & Shop’s autonomous robot “Marty” patrols a food aisle at the store in Clinton, Conn. Photo by Robin Lubbock for WBUR

Stop & Shop’s autonomous robot “Marty” patrols a food aisle at the store in Clinton, Conn. Photo by Robin Lubbock for WBUR

Stop & Shop’s parent company, the Dutch food retailer Ahold Delhaize, has started deploying robots named Marty to more than 100 Massachusetts locations.

Marty, a six-foot-tall pillar with googly eyes, roams the stores, beeping gently as it scans the floor for trash and spills.

At a Stop & Shop in Quincy, Marty spots a fallen price tag in front of a shelf of Easter candy. The robot’s cameras take a picture, which is then sent to a worker hundreds of miles away at a facility run by the company TaskUs. The worker looks at the picture to confirm the problem, then Marty alerts customers and store employees.

“Caution. Hazard detected,” Marty says, playing the pre-recorded message in English and Spanish.

A Stop & Shop employee scoops up the tag and presses a button to send Marty on his way.

Visit WBUR for the full story. 

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