This article details recent news about the tech startup Bossa Nova successfully raising another round of funding. Their grocery store robot now works at Walmart.
While we don’t yet have butler robots, Bossa Nova brought us closer.
The company’s grocery store robot roams freely assisting employees with various duties. From inventory management to sales numbers, the robot completes many useful tasks.
How did the startup raise another round of funding to the tune of $29-million USD?
It resembles those old mail robots from government buildings in the 1970s. You know: the one everyone complains about on the FX’s The Americans. But this little robot is a bit more intelligent than the “robots” of old.
Initially, Bossa Nova made toy robots. From there, they moved into more functional robotic innovations. They infused AI and new technology to create their latest grocery-store robot.
The CTO describes them as “indoor self-driving cars” with hi-res cameras, AI for autonomy, and scanners. The robot helps store employees and store shoppers alike. For now, they’re just in use at Walmart.
In fact, Bossa Nova has implemented their robots in 50 Walmart stores across the U.S. since January.
According to Bossa Nova’s research, these grocery store robots have the potential to be twice as accurate as humans. They also work three times faster on average than their human counterparts.
Moreover, they take care of certain tasks, enabling human employees to do other, more complicated tasks. This lines up with what some say is the true purpose of AI and robots.
A new Round of Funding for More Expansion
Cota Capital, Lucas Venture Group, Intel Capital, Walden Ventures, LG Electronics, and more got in on this round of funding. With the addition of the new $29-million USD, Bossa Nova garnered around $70-million USD for this project.
Many more Walmart stores feature these grocery store robots now.
Bossa Nova’s chief business officer Martin Hitch attributes the robot’s popularity to the amount of money big box stores spend on inventory management each year. But it goes beyond the $1.1-trillion USD inventory management costs.
“Retailers are interested in how they can improve operations at the store level; brands’ interest is related to merchandizing: where it’s placed, what’s it adjacent to”, Hitch told Xconomy.
Bossa Nova clearly has more planned for their grocery robot. But Hitch cautioned early adopters in a CNBC article. “Mobile robotics can be a great tool, but may not be the right device to capture information at a smaller format store.”
We will update this story as Bossa Nova furthers its robotic research and implementation.