For the more than 500,000 Instacart gig workers fulfilling grocery orders at supermarket chains such as Giant, Food Lion, Costco, among others, the delivery service is exploring ways it can eliminate human workers by employing robots at warehouses, according to a new report via Financial Times.
Anyone who straps on a mask, or now maybe two or three, and has shopped at a major grocery chain this year have noticed, many of whom, young millennials, running around the stores in green Instacart shirts, fulfilling orders.
While this innovative delivery service has been nothing but stellar during the virus pandemic, the San Francisco-based startup has been researching ways to automate the picking process.
“Last spring, Instacart sent out proposal requests to at least five companies that offer robotic systems that would pick goods from purpose-built “dark” warehouses instead of store shelves,” FT said.
Sources said, “Instacart had initially expressed a desire to open as many as 50 robot-driven warehouses across the US in about a year.”
No deal has been struck with robotics makers to fulfill Instacart’s automation plans. This comes as Walmart and Amazon are entrenched in an e-commerce delivery war where networks of robotic micro-fulfillment centers are being developed around the country…