The Giant Food Store in Lower Paxton Township, Pa., has a new employee. He’s a little different than the others.
According to local online news source pennlive.com, the grocery store recently brought on a robot—known locally as Marty—that looks like a gray monolith on wheels. The store has plastered a nametag and googley-eyes on the machine, likely to make it look friendlier.
For now, Marty’s most important job is to trundle up and down the aisles to scan for trip or slip hazards on the floor, but he also has secondary functions. Marty can read unit tags to tell if items are out of stock on the shelves and notify his human co-workers to restock. He can also check prices.
The robot is part of a test program from Ahold USA, Giant Food Stores’ parent company. The technology was developed by Badger Technologies in Lexington, Ky.
Marty isn’t smart enough to replace any human employees, but he could be a sign of things to come if the test goes well.