One way to make robots appear more friendly to consumers is by giving them a short and easy-to-remember name. Marty does the job quite well in this regard, as it is a name most people will have no trouble remembering. The fact that this robot looks intriguing and has googly eyes will only make it more memorable. Giant Food Store in Lower Paxton Township, Penn., is currently testing out Marty the robot.
Marty the Robot is an odd Creature
A lot of consumers are legitimately afraid of robots and how they might eventually trump our own species. While that may certainly happen at some point in the future, not every robot is designed to be a major threat to our society either. In fact, there are plenty of machines out there that aim to make life a lot easier for us consumers in every way possible. Marty, a robot currently taking up residence at a Giant Food Store in the state of Pennsylvania, proves to be a rather harmless creature.
That doesn’t mean one should underestimate Marty by any means, though. Don’t be fooled by his googly eyes alone, as these were put on for a very specific purpose. While they may appear a bit creepy at first, they also give him a more comical look, which seems to have been well-received by the shoppers at this store so far. It takes some time to get used to a roving robot moving around quietly, but the machine can help shoppers in many different ways.
One way in which Marty stands out is how slender this robot really is. He is a lot taller than the average person, which means he is impossible to miss. He can move around the store on his own accord and seems to be quite a hit with the ladies and children so far. Plenty of people have taken the time to take a selfie with Marty, which is only to be expected.
Once people recovered from the initial surprise of seeing this slender robot cruise through the store, curiosity got the better of them. After all, Marty is not just there to roam about and take selfies, as he also serves a real purpose. This test program by Ahold USA, the parent company of Giant Food Store, revolves around assisting customers. While Marty cannot fill shelves or pick up items, he can report information to both customers and store staff in a concise manner. Moreover, his eyes take note of dwindling stock and alert staffers in the back to bring out additional supplies.
In fact, one will observe Marty complete his store-wide trip several times per day. His tendency to start in the beer and wine section might seem a bit odd, but it is one of the location’s most commonly browsed areas where stock must be replenished fairly regularly. Afterward, Marty will inspect the produce section and head toward the meat department as well. He is a silent overseer of things and day-to-day operations, all the while avoiding displays and shoppers thanks to his built-in sensors.
Marty’s current to-do list includes checking for trip or slip hazards on the floor. He can also read unit tags, alert employees, and check prices whenever needed. This should help prevent price discrepancies between the item tag and the retail price itself. He is a more-than-valuable addition, even though it remains to be seen how successful this trial will be. If things go according to plan, we may see a dozen other robots operating at various stores operated by the Ahold USA group. Most of us certainly wouldn’t mind dealing with Marty on a regular basis; that much is certain.