In Brief

Boston supermarket chain Stop & Shop is piloting a robotic grocery van that will bring fresh food and convenience items to customers' door after they summon it via an app, letting them make their own selections

Trips to the grocery store can be timing-consuming, adding yet another item to consumers’ to-do lists. But what if the grocery store could come to them? Supermarket chain Stop & Shop is investing in making this a reality with Robomart, an autonomous vendor that will drive a small grocery selection directly to shoppers’ homes.

The self-driving robot will carry a selection of fresh produce and convenience items. Customers can use an app to summon the Robomart to their home, and through the use of RFID and computer vision technology, they will be charged automatically for the items they take. The robots will run on electricity, will be piloted remotely from a nearby facility and can be restocked in-between journeys.

One of the problems that the implementation of the Robomart aim to solve is that when customers buy groceries online, they often don’t get to pick out their own produce, which sometimes leads to dissatifaction. “We also recognize that many of our customers want the opportunity to make their own choices when it comes to fresh produce and we’re proud to be the first retailer to engage with Robomart to address our customers’ needs,” Stop & Shop President Mark McGowan said in a statement.

The stores on wheels will be available for customers in Boston in Spring 2019. If successful, the service, may expand to other markets in the near future.

Stop & Shop | Robomart

Trips to the grocery store can be timing-consuming, adding yet another item to consumers’ to-do lists. But what if the grocery store could come to them? Supermarket chain Stop & Shop is investing in making this a reality with Robomart, an autonomous vendor that will drive a small grocery selection directly to shoppers’ homes.

The self-driving robot will carry a selection of fresh produce and convenience items. Customers can use an app to summon the Robomart to their home, and through the use of RFID and computer vision technology, they will be charged automatically for the items they take. The robots will run on electricity, will be piloted remotely from a nearby facility and can be restocked in-between journeys.