workers may lose jobs as amazon brings robots into warehouses
Amazon, an American multinational technology company, is trialing humanoid robots in its United States warehouses in order to boost its operations. This move can impact workers and they may lose their jobs. The move has also sparked fears among employees about the effect on its
What can workers expect? How many workers will lose their jobs? Are humanoid robots good at handling jobs? What did Amazon say?
Robots in Amazon warehouses
Amazon has started experimenting with a humanoid robot as it increasingly seeks to automate its warehouses and operations. Amazon has said that the move is about “freeing employees up to better deliver for our customers.”
Amazon is testing a new robot called Digit, which has arms and legs like humans. The robots can also move, grasp and handle items just like a human. Amazon has over 750,000 robots working “collaboratively” with its human staff at various warehouses. Robots have helped to take on “highly repetitive tasks”. The robots have already been used to shift empty tote boxes.
Amazon will also deploy a robotic system called Sequoia at one of its Houston warehouses in order to increase deliveries. It will reduce the processing time of orders by as much as 25 per cent.
Can workers lose their job?
After the deployment of humanoid robots, employees have expressed their fear. The workers said that they do not want to lose their jobs. However, Tye Brady, the chief technologist at Amazon Robotics, assured them that they will not lose their jobs.
Tye Brady said that the deployment of robots would create new jobs. He said that the company wanted to “eliminate all the menial, the mundane and the repetitive” tasks inside Amazon’s business.
He told reporters at a media event at an Amazon facility that there would not be any job cuts or layoffs. He said, “People are so central to the fulfilment process; the ability to think at a higher level, the ability to diagnose problems,” insisting that that people are “irreplaceable.”
Who has developed Digit?
Robot Digit has been developed by Agility Robotics, a startup based in Corvallis, Oregon. It is backed by Amazon. The robot is 5ft 9in (175cm) tall and weighs 143 lb (65kg). It can carry up to 35lb (16kg) of weight. The robot has nimble limbs and a torso packed with sensors. It comes with a head, eyes, and redesigned hands.
Meanwhile, Amazon.com, Inc. is set to hire 250000 employees in hundreds of cities and towns across the United States for the upcoming holiday season. Amazon will also increase the average pay for full-time, part-time and seasonal fulfillment center and transportation roles by $28 per hour.