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Retail and pandemic: Wider acceptance of robots

New research shows widespread acceptance of robots in retail.

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One of the striking trends during the pandemic was the widespread acceptance of automation technologies. In particular, retail has accelerated the development of automation, including robotics.

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A new study by RetailWire and Brain Corp., an artificial intelligence (AI) company that builds key technology in robotics, including cleaning robots, concludes that COVID-19 has accelerated the development and adoption of automation. Sales of robots used for tasks such as cleaning floors and scanning shelves, both in stores and in warehouses, have skyrocketed.

The results of the research are included in a report available online entitled, "Robots in Retail: Examining the Autonomous Opportunity."

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Among the top results, 64% of retailers believe it is important to have a clear, workable and budgeted robotics automation strategy in 2021, including 77% of large retailers. This is impressive, given that robots in retail have so far not caught the attention of retailers. Now, almost half of those surveyed say they will be participating in an in-store robotics project within the next 18 months.

One of the important factors of adoption during the pandemic was the excessive focus on cleanliness. According to the survey, the vast majority (72%) of respondents state that they do not anticipate a major change in consumer expectations for cleanliness in the store, even after the widespread distribution of vaccines. About the same number of large retailers, 73%, report that the importance of using robots in warehouses or distribution centers has increased due to factors that emerged during the pandemic.

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The need to maintain a safe and clean environment has coincided with growing awareness of the benefits of retail automation for data-based information.

Robotic technology in retail is constantly gaining ground, but RetailWire said it found the new adoption acceleration trends expressed in the research "amazing" but a bit utopian.

Source of information: zdnet.com

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