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Bossa Nova Raises Money To Put More Robots In Retail Aisles

Robots made by Bossa Nova Robotics are already roaming retail aisles in various parts of the country, and pretty soon there will be more of them.

Bossa Nova Robot

The company has obtained $29M in new venture funding from Cota Capital, China Walden Ventures and LG Electronics to up its game in robo-retail, Venture Beat reports.

The robots' job in a store is to go up and down aisles while scanning shelves, telling the retailer which items will soon be out of stock and identifying shelves where incorrect or missing price tags are located, as well as misplaced products.

The robots use basic RGB photos and point-cloud images to do their tasks, and move at about 0.4 miles per hour, slow enough that they are unlikely to collide with shoppers or objects in the aisles. The robots are also equipped with sensors to prevent such mishaps. 

Late last year, Walmart started testing the bots. They can complete their scanning rounds about 50% faster than human workers, reports, but Walmart says they do not intended to replace those workers.

Now Bossa Nova robots scan shelves three times a day in 50 Walmart stores in Arkansas, California, Florida, Pennsylvania and Texas.

The new round of funding will enable the robotics specialist to pursue international expansion, make software improvements and look into the deployment of robots that will be able to roam smaller stores.