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Thu Oct 11, 2018, 01:27 PM

Report: Amazon wants robots that can do the work of warehouse pickers

Source: Fast Company

10.11.1812:37 PM

BY CALE GUTHRIE WEISSMAN
1 MINUTE READ

By now, it’s well known that Amazon is always on the lookout for ways to cut costs. Over the last few years, as the e-commerce giant has grown into a true behemoth, the company has proven to shareholders its ability to provide returns. One way it does this is by investing in automation.

Amazon has implemented robots and other automating technologies in a variety of ways–especially in its warehouses. The company has tried to assuage fears of robots taking over human roles by saying that certain roles won’t be automated. One of those jobs is the “picker,” or someone who grabs items and places them in the areas to be shipped. But according to a new report in the Information, those jobs may no longer be safe. According to unnamed people with knowledge of the situation, Amazon is looking into robots that can do this picking action.

The company, in a statement to the original report, admitted that Amazon is always looking into new technologies to streamline the workflow, but that human employees are usually better at performing a variety of tasks that robots may not be able to do. Still, the spokesperson told the Information, “We need advanced technology and automation to meet customer demand—it’s just that simple.”

This may cause some worry. A few weeks ago, Amazon announced plans to raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour. For many warehouse workers, this meant they’d be given an instant wage. (Though, it should be mentioned, Amazon took away stock options and other benefits in exchange for this wage boost.) One thing workers don’t have is guaranteed hours, and if Amazon continues to invest in robots like these pickers, it’s likely that fewer hours will be allotted to workers.

Read more: https://www.fastcompany.com/90250018/report-amazon-wants-robots-that-can-do-the-work-of-warehouse-pickers

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Reply Report: Amazon wants robots that can do the work of warehouse pickers (Original post)
Judi Lynn Thursday OP
dalton99a Thursday #1
leftyladyfrommo Thursday #12
cstanleytech Friday #18
PoliticAverse Thursday #2
Wellstone ruled Thursday #3
appalachiablue Thursday #4
Zing Zing Zingbah Thursday #8
turbinetree Thursday #5
Racerdog1 Thursday #6
violetpastille Thursday #7
DeminPennswoods Thursday #10
randr Thursday #9
Trailrider1951 Thursday #11
Adrahil Thursday #14
Adrahil Thursday #13
Stonepounder Friday #15
Adrahil Friday #22
dembotoz Friday #16
lindysalsagal Friday #17
melm00se Friday #19
Maxheader Friday #20
Luciferous Friday #21

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Thu Oct 11, 2018, 01:29 PM

1. Robots don't need benefits or airconditioning

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Response to dalton99a (Reply #1)

Thu Oct 11, 2018, 04:55 PM

12. And they never get tired. They can run 24 hours. nt

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Response to dalton99a (Reply #1)

Fri Oct 12, 2018, 05:19 AM

18. Actually depending on the conditions they might need air conditioning to keep from overheating and

burning out plus if the robot dies on you or you lose power will have a giant paperweight until its repaired or the power is back on where as if a human workers calls out you can usually get another employee to come cover their shift.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Thu Oct 11, 2018, 01:38 PM

2. Of course they do. Amazon is already using lots of robots. "Picking" will eventually...

be eliminated as a job as will shelf stocking.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Thu Oct 11, 2018, 01:42 PM

3. Thmeo King

Parts Distribution Centers are full Robotic except for whole Units and Motors and some Compressors. Order Picking and Parts restock is all robotic except for the whole assemblies which are pallets for fast retrieval by a Human with a fork truck. Used to be forty plus Warehouse men and Women,last time I was at that facility,five people left and they did packing and labeling.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Thu Oct 11, 2018, 01:49 PM

4. Retail dystopia

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Response to appalachiablue (Reply #4)

Thu Oct 11, 2018, 03:36 PM

8. I've seen episodes of Black Mirror and Electric Dreams about automated factories gone awry. n/t

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Thu Oct 11, 2018, 02:00 PM

5. Hey thats the ticket Jeff Bezo's POS give $15 and then turn right around and

take stock options away and other benefits, what a great fucking "guy" has over $368 billion in stock and other assets, and he could give everyone of his employees a $100,000.00 to the 566,000 employees which would come to $5.6 billion, chump change there Bezo's you POS and then they have there great fucking benefits cut, because after all humans are to much of a cost factor, like benefits, calling out sick from standing 8 hours a day, carpal tunnel, heavy lifting, that fucking made you rich, but some machine , all it needs is someone to program and replace....................

http://www.amazondelivers.jobs/about/benefits/

6 days off for holidays , whooping fucking big deal

And the best one resources to help with your well being, while a POS makes over $368 billion in assets, and the employees are still on food stamps, great libertarian hedge fund values right Bezos.

Hell Bezo's have the entire family of lets say three come and work for you making a grand total of $45.00 per hour in combine income, if they are full time........................maybe they can get one share of stock.................


And then the stock options of buying the stock at employee discount................yep that $15.00 dollars per hour is going to help them buy the dream of owning that stock that costs over $1700.00 to just help pad your 401K plan of bullshit for the employee, do you a C stock or D stock, that is of lowering value in the food chain of the 401K, that is at the whim of wall street and your hedge fund buddies :

$1,723.51 USD −31.74 (1.81%)

https://www.google.com/search?q=amazon+stock+price&oq=Amazon+stock+price&aqs=chrome.0.0l6.8822j0j8&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8







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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Thu Oct 11, 2018, 02:04 PM

6. Let them use robots

People to program and keep them running make a jell of a lot more that what the folks there are getting paid. Work smarter not harder.

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Response to Racerdog1 (Reply #6)

Thu Oct 11, 2018, 03:24 PM

7. In the future

People will have to be both smarter and harder.

High school kids are having a hard time choosing career paths that won't be automated by the time they finish college.

But for now, I'm puzzling over the economics of this. Supermarkets around me are pushing hard to keep people from coming into their stores, filling their carts and being checked out by humans. They want to shop for me and deliver, or I pick it up at the curb or they want me to give them my payment information ahead of time so that I can just scan as I go and sqwank out. They want me to be their "picker-robot" basically.

They want to deprogram me from expecting service.

But how are young people going to get their first jobs if "first jobs" are all automated, and if they can't who will take care of the people who are retired and collecting Social Security?
And if on both ends of the dependency scale, the young and the old aren't self sufficient then
how can the earners in the middle have enough money to buy any extra stuff at the grocery store?

This does not fit my user preferences. I want to opt out.

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Response to Racerdog1 (Reply #6)

Thu Oct 11, 2018, 04:11 PM

10. Automation has been taking repetitive jobs for scores of years

These robots are going break down and need to be re-programmed. Humans will do that and be paid more money.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Thu Oct 11, 2018, 04:03 PM

9. It is not up to Amazon to fix the problems caused by advanced automation

As the work force is reduced by automation a new economic/social platform needs to evolve. As paid people are replaced we need to ensure that the population can still purchase the goods produced by the robots.
A suggestion would be give a share of corporate profits to the benefit of the general population. The citizen give license to corporate entities and should be able to share in the profits. I would also love to see a maximum wage installed to do away with the rapid disparity being created by the current model.
The gross profits and obscene wealth of individuals would be spread out to the benefit of society at large.
The wealth came from the people and it should remain with them.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Thu Oct 11, 2018, 04:50 PM

11. I've said it before and I'll say it again

The answer to the mechanization of labor and the resultant unemployment is: TAX ROBOT LABOR BY THE HOUR. Then use the tax money for a dedicated fund for a universal income for people. Human labor is taxable. Why not robot labor?

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Response to Trailrider1951 (Reply #11)

Thu Oct 11, 2018, 05:38 PM

14. So, what exactly do you count as a robot?

WE have a lot of machines now. Where is the line between robot and not robot? I mean, is a CNC mill a robot?

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Thu Oct 11, 2018, 05:37 PM

13. You can't order the sun not to set...

I get frustrated with folks who seem to think that it's possible to stop stuff like this.

Guess: technology allows the elimination of of unskilled and semi-skilled labor. Eventually, even some skilled jobs. That's gonna happen. There is no sense getting knickers in a twist over it. What we need to do is get those folks trained to do something the robots can't do (at least for now). And we need to work on ways of ensuring support for folks who cannot learn those skills.

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Response to Adrahil (Reply #13)

Fri Oct 12, 2018, 01:19 AM

15. While I agree with your sentiment, the another real problem is that we don't need as many

skilled folks as the unskilled folks that automation replaces.

When I was a HS student my first job was working at the local equivalent to McDonalds. If you wanted to work the register you had to a) memorize prices, b) be able to do multiplication of prices in your head, and c) figure the 5% sales tax in your head. Today you don't even need to know the prices, you just have to be able to push the pictures and a computer does everything else.

My first job working on computers was as a System Manager of a fair-sized installation in Tucson, AZ. If the system acted up, we called the vendor who sent a technician on-site to troubleshoot the hardware. We once had a problem where the local techs couldn't figure it out, so they called in regional, who also couldn't figure it out. So the vendor flew in a guy from New Jersey. Now a tech looks at your computer, runs a diagnostic routine and the computer tells him which part to replace.

I like the earlier suggestion that you tax a corporation based on the number of employees it would need without automation and use the proceeds to either retrain or pay a minimum wage (like Social Security) to those who couldn't be retrained or had chose not to work.

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Response to Stonepounder (Reply #15)

Fri Oct 12, 2018, 09:50 AM

22. That's why we need to consider UBI... taxing corps in that way is impossible.

We've been automating for hundreds of years. Do you charge a textile manufacturer based on what it would take to make all that fabric using hand looms? How about a parts manufacturuer.... do you charge them based on what it would take to hand machine each part individually? Not possible.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Oct 12, 2018, 02:53 AM

16. Like you couldn't see this coming???

Harder and harder to see things robotics will not be called upon to do.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Oct 12, 2018, 05:05 AM

17. Universal basic income. We're pretty much there, already.

Call it medicaid, ss, disability, whatever. You're not stopping the machines, as long as we're a profit-driven society.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Oct 12, 2018, 07:59 AM

19. Actually, it looks like Amazon might be behind the times


Project from 2012.


2013

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Oct 12, 2018, 08:07 AM

20. Robots and material handling...


Been around a long time...

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Oct 12, 2018, 09:09 AM

21. Sounds like robot repair technician might be a good field to get into

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