Albertsons Pilots Automated Online Fulfillment With In-Store Robotics

Albertsons Cos. has big plans to automate fulfillment for local online grocery orders — and it all begins with a micro-fulfillment pilot concept powered by AI-enabled robots. The grocery giant entered a trial with Takeoff Technologies, unveiling the partnership at the Groceryshop conference in Las Vegas.

Albertsons has not revealed the store where the pilot will take place, and at this point there is no timeline for how long the pilot will last or any indication of further expansion plans.

The process works this way: Albertsons customers enter their grocery orders online or via a mobile device, and the orders are routed to the automated system. Takeoff’s technology then takes over the fulfillment process. The system creates a designated area within an existing store location, typically sized between 6,000 and 10,000 square feet, where the most popular items ordered online are stored.

The AI-enabled robots, working with a system of totes and conveyors, deliver the items to an Albertsons employee who prepares the orders for customers. The system is designed to function at a…