Robots and Human Hands Working Together in Amazon Warehouses

Published by , April 10, 2016 8:49 pm

(SeattleTimes) Amazon.com is on its way to becoming the second-largest employer among Fortune 500 companies, mainly because of jobs in its warehouses. The company has 30,000 robots — but more than 230,000 employees, not counting the temporary staff it hires during the peak holiday period. The workers’ presence alongside thousands of orange robots points to a lengthy coexistence in the world of logistics.
Humans have an intuitive understanding of the movement of objects, and fine motor skills that give them a firm hold on key warehouse operations like packaging and stowing goods. It is still cheaper to hire humans once you get into more unstructured environments, involving objects with different shape and size and material properties, as well as unpredictable spatial arrangements of multiple objects than to develop customized robotic solutions.

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