Customers at Stop & Shop stores in Falmouth and Sandwich might have noticed something missing from the tourist-crowded aisles during the past few week: the “Marty” robots that were locating hazardous spills as recently as last month.
“A select group of Stop & Shop stores on Cape Cod made the decision to park Marty... to accommodate high levels of customer traffic during the summer months. Marty will resume normal operations at that time. Until then, associates are monitoring store floors for spills and other hazards to keep customers safe while shopping,” Jennifer Brogan, the corporation’s director of external communications and community relations, said Tuesday, July 16.
While gliding around the aisles of the supermarket, the six-foot-tall, googly-eyed Marty is responsible for finding spills that may have occurred. If one is found, Marty sends an announcement over the store’s intercom to alert a human employee that something needs to be cleaned up and where to find the mess.
When Marty identifies a spill, it stays at the scene until a human employee pushes a button to let it know that the spill has been cleaned.
Even though Marty’s eyes are stuck on, it is able to sense when there are people or carts in its way by the use of laser-based “lidar” sensors. The robot also has a series of eight cameras that can be used to keep track of inventory on shelves.
As of this week however, Marty was back at work at the Sandwich store on Route 6A.
"It was only for the weeks surrounding the July 4th holiday," an employee at the store said. "Now he's back, for better or worse"