Robots Flourish as Workers Stay at Home

(See my other Robot related posts) – With so many ‘sheltering-in-place’ at home, robots are taking more of a role. I saw a short note in the Morning Brew Emerging Tech Brew newsletter yesterday. The story “U.S. Retail Robots Are Working Overtime” tells how more robots are being placed into service.

The essentials from the article:

  • Starship Technologies says its autonomous food delivery service has expanded.
  • Alphabet’s drone subsidiary, Wing, is dropping off packages in Virginia
  • Amazon is testing its Scout delivery robot
  • Autonomous mobile robots (AMR) are currently doing 8,000+ hours of cleaning work a day

Screen Shot 2020-04-13 at 11.06.41 AM

Businesses short of workers are supplementing their workforce with robots. Typical of those robots being used to clean store floors is the Tennant T7AMR Rider-Scrubber.

These and similar commercial autonomous robots can be used to scrub & vacuum floors, make deliveries, scan the product shelves, and assist with security. The machines can typically navigate dynamic public spaces autonomously, avoid obstacles, and the general public. They also can manage data, generate reports, and interact with human users. The COVID-19 crisis is definitely going to accelerate the adoption of robots.

Contrary to what you might expect, the impact of the economic downturn caused by COVID-19 may be an increase in automation. A report looking at the three recessions in the last 30 years shows that 88% of job loss took place in “routine,” automatable occupations. We have already seen robots replace workers at places such as Amazon and Walmart. Their deployment is expected to significantly increase during any recession. [See Further Reading #2]

Further Reading

  1. Grocery stores turn to robots during the coronavirus
  2. The robots are ready as the COVID-19 recession spreads
  3. Robots Are Cleaning Grocery Store Floors During The Coronavirus Outbreak
  4. How Autonomous Cleaning Robots Can Help Retailers During A Crisis

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