When Amazon bought the Kiva company with its warehouse robots in 2012, CEO Jeff Bezos made the unusual decision to keep the machines in-house and not support Kiva’s existing customers. That decision created a market for similar machines, and engineers got to work on inventing comparable robots that could perform warehouse-type tasks of pulling items from shelves and assembling them for shipment.
Now we see one of the new warehouse robots, and the inVia model is capable of picking an item off a shelf and plunking it into a box for eventual shipment.
Plus the report says the machine will end those “tedious” jobs that humans suffer with to get their paychecks.
In fact, the government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics listed the 2015 number of stock clerks and order fillers at 60,670. This is how jobs are disappearing — a few at a time as a warehouse operator rents some robots to increase efficiency, cut costs and work 24 hours.
The “tedious” job of warehouse order filler is decent-paying for low-skilled employment, around $30,000. It’s the kind of job an immigrant might take.
So maybe America doesn’t need so many immigrants…
Warehouse Robots Might Just Make Tedious Jobs a Thing of the Past, Digital Trends, August 19, 2016Ask anyone you know that’s worked in a warehouse. While the pay is decent for a job that requires little training in many cases, the work is extremely tedious. But with our ever increasing reliance on technology, it was only a matter of time before humans were taken out of the equation.That’s where a Los Angeles-based inVia Robotics hopes it will make its mark. The company this week unveiled what it calls the first “goods-to-box” robotics solution, one that requires no human intervention at all. Robots do all the sorting, “picking,” and even packaging for shipment.The first time a package might reach human hands is in shipment, a far cry from the human-dominated system we have now. That’s pretty crazy.InVia says it already has customers using its system. The addition of its robots doesn’t always mean unemployment for workers. One company uses the InVia system beside its warehouse workers, to not only deal with labor shortages, but to allow it to ship faster than it ever has before.It’s also scaleable, as each robot is leased rather than sold. This means a warehouse owner could ramp up its robotic fleet of workers around the holidays to meet the demands of its business, and reduce its fleet during down times to save on costs.The warehouse isn’t the only place that is soon going to go robotic. Retailers such as Amazon and Walmart are looking to drones as a way to skip the postal service and deliver directly to you. Soon, yours could viably be the first human hands to touch what you’ve just bought online.“Drones have a lot of potential to further connect our vast network of stores, distribution centers, fulfillment centers, and transportation fleet,” Walmart has said of its own plans.