Walmart had 52 patents in future of work during Q1 2024. Walmart Inc filed patents in Q1 2024 for a conveyor assembly for sorting merchandise items, a system for segmenting images and analyzing text regions, an automated order fulfillment system with a compliant drive mobile robot, a control system for motorized transport units at a retail facility, and a charging system for autonomous transport vehicles in a storage and retrieval system. These patents focus on improving efficiency and automation in various aspects of retail operations. GlobalData’s report on Walmart gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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Walmart grant share with future of work as a theme is 38% in Q1 2024. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Recent Patents

Application: Conveyor systems and methods for sorting merchandise using interchangeable and assignable sortation modules (Patent ID: US20240101359A1)

The patent filed by Walmart Inc. describes a conveyor assembly for sorting merchandise items, consisting of sortation modules with multi-directional sorting portions, rollers, and a controller. The system assigns unique IP addresses to each sortation module based on its position in the chain, determines sortation destinations for items, and instructs the corresponding module to divert items accordingly. The assembly can be reconfigured, with new IP addresses assigned as needed, and can communicate with each module to determine their positions and relative distances. The system can also sort items based on predetermined characteristics obtained from a merchandise database, and handle unidentified items separately.

The conveyor assembly and method outlined in the patent aim to efficiently sort merchandise items using a series of interconnected sortation modules with unique IP addresses assigned based on their positions in the chain. The control circuit manages the sorting process by determining sortation destinations, instructing modules to divert items accordingly, and reassigning IP addresses when modules are reconfigured or replaced. The system can communicate with each module to ensure proper sorting, handle unidentified items separately, and sort items based on predetermined characteristics from a merchandise database. This innovative system is designed to streamline the sorting process in shopping facilities, enhancing efficiency and accuracy in handling merchandise items.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.