Walmart Using Virtual Reality for Employee Training

Walmart Using Virtual Reality for Employee Training

October 14, 2018

Walmart already uses Virtual Reality (VR) instruction at each of its 200 Walmart Academies, which train approximately 150,000 employees each year.  Now, Walmart plants to expand the use of VR instruction into its stores.

By the end of the year, Walmart hopes to have over 17,000 headsets in stores, to be used in training Walmart employees on the Pickup Towers being added to many retail locations.

VR instruction uses interactive onscreen prompts and 360 degree video.  This should help better prepare employees for the introduction of Pickup Towers, because the Oculus headsets let them see and get a feel for the towers.


Video Spotlight: VR headsets train associates in-store


 

This post is based on the Tech Crunch article, Walmart is putting 17,000 Oculus Go headsets in its stores to help train employees in VR, by Lucas Matney, September 21, 2018; the Walmart blog post, Hundreds More High-Tech Pickup Towers are Headed Your Way, by Justin Rushing, April 5, 2018; and the YouTube video, VR headsets train associates in-store, by Walmart, May 30, 2018. Image source: Shutterstock / franz12.

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the advantages of VR instruction?

Guidance: Walmart’s use of VR Continue reading

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Meet your New Bot Bellhop

Meet your New Bot Bellhop

September 24, 2018

Eight TUG robots, created by Aethon, Inc., assist with carrying luggage, delivering room service, and helping clean up rooms and hallways at the Sheraton Hotel in San Gabriel, California.  The current favorite, named Gabriel, greets guests in the lobby with a display which reads, “Where do you want to go?”  He then guides them to their destination within the hotel.

The robots are not replacing workers, but rather are being used to save workers time so they can focus on other tasks.  This innovative technology is also used in many hospitals in the U.S. to deliver medication, food, and linens to patients in their rooms.


Video Spotlight: SoCal Sheraton has team of robots toting luggage, room service


This post is based on articles from the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, There are robots on staff at this San Gabriel hotel, by Michelle Mills, August 31, 2018, and from The Star Online, Robot butlers are coming to this Miami hotel, by Dylan Jackson, September 3, 2018; and on the video, SoCal Sheraton has team of robots toting luggage, room service, by ABC7, January 30, 2018. Image source: Shutterstock / studiostoks.

Discussion Questions:

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No Robot Takeover in the Warehouse!

No Robot Takeover in the Warehouse!

Warehouse workers are quite confident that robots will not replace them … at least, not yet.

Part of their jobs involves precision work that robots do not have the dexterity or range of motion to perform. To warehouse workers, the greatest potential for robots is to assist them with physically demanding or unpleasant tasks.

Supervisory work also seems immune to a robot takeover.  Moreover, the high cost of robots rules out their use in small- to medium-volume operations.

At least for now.

This post is based on the NPR article, ‘Don’t Think a Robot Could Do This’: Warehouse workers aren’t worried for their jobs, by A. Selyukh, January 25, 2018.  

Discussion Questions

1) What is the primary reason warehouse workers feel that their jobs are secure? Should they feel that way?

Guidance: Discuss the present vs. future of robots in warehouses. The robots with which workers are familiar are still unable to do many of the picking and packing tasks they perform. Therefore, their jobs appear to be secure for the time being. However, the development of skilled robots, the need for greater efficiency, and the falling costs may threaten many of those jobs in the Continue reading

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