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Meeting Consumer Needs

As more and more consumers shop online with guarantees of quick delivery, robots are being used to help fulfill the demand. The quicker customers’ requests are fulfilled after a purchase, the happier they are and the more profit the company makes. This makes using robots to assist with orders at the warehouse a great benefit. Some companies use robots to bring the shelf stacks to human workers to select the correct product, while others use robots to travel to identified areas to grab the needed items.
Robot developers are continuing to improve the process. One company is developing robotic arms that are capable of handling fragile objects without having to give the robot detailed information on the object’s size or shape. Another company is exploring “swarm robotics,” where several robots work as a team by communicating together to complete delivery tasks.

Some of the benefits of using warehouse robots instead of humans are:

  • Better accuracy in selecting the correct items

  • More efficient (speed)

  • Reduction of utility costs like air conditioning

  • Less workplace theft

  • Reduction of labor cost (fewer workers needed)

Motivate Discussion icon Motivate Discussion

 In what other types of environments or jobs would robots be useful?
A: Robots could be useful for many jobs like those in factories where assembling or sorting is required, or even in farming environments for planting or monitoring plants.

Q: What would be the benefits of using robots in the suggested environment?
A: They do not get tired, thus they can work longer hours. Their sensors do not lose sensitivity the ways human eyes can, for example. They are less vulnerable to dangerous environments than people are.

Q: What would the downfalls be?
A: They only behave as well as their programming allows them to. They need to be routinely inspected to prevent malfunctions within their sensors or other systems.