Walmart has shown an interest in using drones for many different applications, including drone delivery, in-store customer service, inventory management and more. In March 2018, Walmart filed six patents for drones. One drone application could potentially give the company greater control over its food supply. The drones are expected to handle pest identification, plant pollination, and the monitoring of overall crop health on farms.
Paula Savanti, a senior consumer analyst at Rabobank, recently told Business Insider that the drones “would give Walmart more predictability about what’s happening on the farm,” she told Business Insider. “I’m guessing that any tech that’s geared toward improving efficiency at the farm level would benefit them. It would allow them to anticipate supply problems and adjust accordingly.” But the drones will be doing more than just farm flyovers.
Drones may also be used for helping customers on the floor. Here’s how it would work. A mobile device, either a personal device with your shopping list or a Walmart-provided device, communicates with the drone. The drone will direct you to the products that you want to purchase, just as an in-store associate would do. Walmart has not specified a launch date for the drone program.