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Walmart files patent applications for smart shopping carts, drone assistants

Walmart Inc. filed patent applications in September 2017 for a range of systems and technologies to automate its stores.

According to documents filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Walmart is looking to patent a smart cart that has a sensor to help customers find products in aisles and detect products placed in them. It also filed a patent application for unmanned aerial devices, or drones, that can assist shoppers and respond to help requests via wireless communication with a mobile electronic device.

Walmart also filed patents for a system that can monitor stock levels on shelves and a technology that can track users wearing wearable devices.

The U.S. retail giant previously filed patent applications for automated, farm-focused systems and methods.