June 3, 2016
Walmart is getting into the drone game.
Walmart’s VP of Emerging Sciences Shekar Natarajan demoed the retailer’s new technology to reporters from a Bentonville, Arkansas, distribution center on Thursday, on the eve of its annual shareholders meeting.
The drone technology will be replacing the jobs of inventory quality assurance employees, cutting inventory checks across massive distribution centers (the one in Bentonville is 1.2 million square feet) from one month down to a single day.
When Natarajan joined Walmart in November 2014, he and his team were tasked with investigating cutting-edge technologies, asking, “How can we can converge them in ways that make sense for us?” he said.
The application at the top of the list was using drone technology to improve the safety and efficiency of Walmart’s 190 US distribution centers.