Walmart months away from deploying drones

Walmart (NYSE:WMT) is following Amazon's lead and looking to use drones, but not for delivery. The retailer says it's six to nine months from deploying drones inside warehouses.

While the devices are still being tested, Walmart VP of Last Mile and Emerging Sciences Shekar Natarajan showed off the effort at one of the company's regional distribution centers in an event leading up to the company's annual meeting with shareholders.

"We are still in early phases of testing and understanding how drones can be better used in different types of business functions," he said, according to Reuters.

The drones can fly around inside of a warehouse to catalog inventory and reduce manual labor for more time-consuming tasks.

The technology is being custom-designed and built for Walmart. The company said in October it was testing drones at warehouses and filed an application for use with the Federal Aviation Administration. The application also identified other use cases, including deploying drones for grocery pick up from delivery trucks.

Amazon has gotten much attention for its drone development. The retailer wants to use the devices to deliver packages but has run into roadblocks with federal regulators.

For more:
- see this Reuters story

Related Articles:
Walmart to open training academies
Walmart welcomes back an old friend
Walmart phasing out price matching