Robots have rolled into retail, from six-foot-tall free-moving machines spotting spills in Giant Foods Stores to autonomous shelf-scanners checking inventory in Walmart. At Lowe’s, the home improvement chain, a “LoweBot” in some stores can answer simple questions, such as where to find items, and can assist with inventory monitoring. These robots free up workers from routine tasks, presumably giving humans more time for customer interaction — but that’s only the beginning.

Further benefits of robots in the field of retail in the collection and inspection of data not quickly seen and gathered by human work. Retail robots may also come in handy in terms of security and easing of consumer lines as they tend to during rush-shopping hours.