Following successful pilots that improved in-store efficiencies and freed up employees to better serve customers, GIANT Food Stores, Carlisle, Pa., introduced Marty, a new robotic assistant.

Marty is a tall gray robot with googly eyes that will soon be working alongside associates, thanks to a partnership between Ahold Delhaize USA services company Retail Business Services, Carlisle, Pa., and Badger Technologies, a Nicholasville, Ky.-based subsidiary of Jabil, Inc.

Over the past year, GIANT has been piloting Marty and the in-store robotic program.

“Bringing robotics and AI from a research lab to the sales floor has been a very exciting journey, and we were thrilled by the customer response in our pilot stores,” says Nicholas Bertram, president, GIANT Food Stores. “Our associates have worked hard to bring this innovation to life with amazing partners.”

The in-store robots, which move around the store unassisted, are being used to identify hazards, such as liquid, powder and bulk food items spills and provide reporting that enables quick corrective action.

GIANT will be deploying Marty to its 172 GIANT and MARTIN’S Food Markets stores in waves over the coming months with expected completion slated for mid-2019.