Online grocery shopping is absolutely on the rise in the United States. While shopping online for necessities like food, toiletries, or cleaning supplies makes the entire process more accessible, and sometimes even more affordable, it can be tough on small businesses. Due to limited staffs, budgets, or technological resources, not all mom and pop stores can compete with the near-instant delivery available from larger retailers.
CommonSense Robotics hopes to help them out by creating fulfillment centers that uses robots to cut down on labor and costs. This could even provide faster, cheaper delivery for customers, in addition to more options for grocery shopping.
Unlike large warehouses that are used by many retailers, CommonSense Robotics would establish relationships with local grocery stores, giving the process a more community-focused feeling. It would also operate in small spaces. This is an ideal concept in urban neighborhoods for retail spaces that aren’t high in rent. They could also utilize an underground facility like a parking garage they’ve used in their own offices in Tel Aviv when testing out their system.
How is the startup planning to fulfill many orders in smaller places? They’re cutting human labor in half by using robots to organize and retrieve the needed food items for an order. While the exact process hasn’t been shared, there’s likely a mixture of human and robot packaging for delivery. Fresh items like produce and meat are likely looked over by the human eye while other products like canned goods and boxed items are done by the robot.