Supermarket robot escapes store

A robotic supermarket assistant made a great escape from a Pennsylvania store.

Marty, a robot known to the regulars at the Giant Food in Hellertown, decided to leave the store and head across the parking lot.

The tall, thin robot on wheels with "googly eyes" has been used by the store for several years.  Its job is inside the store and usually consists of identifying spills or other hazards.

Giant Food Store started deploying robots in all 172 of its stores.  This is the first known instance of a runaway robot.

A spokesperson for the supermarket told FOX5NY that "Marty was just getting a little fresh air."

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"Bringing robotics and A.I. from a research lab to the sales floor has been a very exciting journey, and we were thrilled by the customer response in our pilot stores," said Nicholas Bertram, president, GIANT Food Stores.

The in-store robots move around the store unassisted.  The company says the robots’ efforts free up associates to spend more time with customers.

Hellertown is a borough outside of Allentown in the Lehigh Valley.