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Bossa Nova Robotics

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bossa Nova Robotics
Founded2005; 14 years ago (2005) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Sarjoun Skaff
  • Martin Hitch
Key people
  • Bruce McWilliams (CEO)
  • Martin Hitch (CBO)
  • Sarjoun Skaff (CTO)

Bossa Nova Robotics is a startup robotics company that manufactures inventory control robots for use in retail stores. They are best known for supplying these robots to Walmart stores,[1][2] in their effort to better compete with Amazon.[3][4]

Their Auto-S line of robots scans store shelves by beaming light on them and snapping photos using 2D and 3D cameras, as well as utilizing lidar to navigate and detect if anything is stocked in a shelf.[5] From this it can detect out-of-stock items, incorrect prices, and other irregularities more efficiently and accurately than a human.[6][7]


Bossa Nova was founded in 2005 by students attending Carnegie Mellon University, spinning out from their Robotics Institute.[2][7] They began creating robotic toys, such as a robotic penguin and a programmable gorilla, though they did not see much success on the market.[2] In 2012, Bossa Nova unveiled a ballbot named mObi, which featured a tablet screen on the top and was to act as a personal assistant.[8]

Bossa Nova began working with Walmart to build their retail robots in 2014, though they did not have a finished version of the product until 2017, when Walmart began testing them in 50 stores.[6][3] Other, smaller stores also began to test out the product, and Walmart rolled out an additional 300 robots in 2019.[2][6][9]


  1. ^ Schwab, Katharine (August 29, 2019). "Walmart's robot army has arrived". Fast Company. Retrieved September 15, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d Heater, Brian (April 10, 2019). "The startup behind Walmart's shelf-scanning robots". TechCrunch. Retrieved September 15, 2019.
  3. ^ a b Perez, Sarah (April 9, 2019). "Walmart to expand in-store tech, including Pickup Towers for online orders and robots". TechCrunch. Retrieved September 15, 2019.
  4. ^ Vanian, Jonathan (March 26, 2018). "Why Walmart Is Testing Robots In Stores—and Here's What It Learned". Fortune. Retrieved September 15, 2019.
  5. ^ Simon, Matt (January 12, 2018). "Please Do Not Assault the Towering Robot That Roams Walmart". Wired. Retrieved September 15, 2019.
  6. ^ a b c Green, Dennis (April 15, 2019). "A small robotics company created a device retailers were clamoring for, and now Walmart is putting it in 350 stores". Business Insider. Retrieved September 15, 2019.
  7. ^ a b Kolodny, Lora (June 21, 2018). "Bossa Nova just raised another $29 million for its grocery store robots used by Walmart". CNBC. Retrieved September 14, 2019.
  8. ^ Gaskin, James (November 8, 2012). "Bossa Nova's mObi, first 'ballbot,' rolls onstage". ITWorld. Retrieved September 15, 2019.
  9. ^ Banker, Steve (April 19, 2019). "Walmart Expands Use of Bossa Nova's Robots from 50 to 350 Stores". Forbes. Retrieved September 15, 2019.
This page was last edited on 30 September 2019, at 22:32
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