Walmart will add shelf-scanning robots to 650 more U.S. stores by the end of the summer. 

According to a report, the six-foot-tall robots, equipped with 15 cameras each, monitor aisles and send alerts to store employees’  handheld devices when items are out of stock. 

The report notes that the new robots are an addition to Walmart’s increasingly automated workforce, which also includes devices to scrub floors, unload trucks and gather online-grocery orders. The initiative is part of Chief Executive Officer Doug McMillon’s push to reduce costs, improve store performance and gain credibility as a technology innovator as it battles Inc., says the report. Walmart says the shelf-scanners will reduce tasks that once took as long as two weeks into a twice-daily routine.
The report also notes that many retail employees are scared of losing their jobs to the robots. The robots are often referred to as "the job stealers" on message boards frequented by shelf-stockers and other rank-and-file associates. In May, a report from consultants at McKinsey & Co. found that about half of all retail activities can be automated with existing technology.