The New Robot Workforce

W I R E D | Autonomous Robots Invade Retail Warehouses | WIRED Science

Video and transcript:
(source: wired.com)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fdd6sQ8Cbe0
http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/01/retailrobots.html

 

Next time you order a new pair of skinny jeans from Gap.com, you should know that you are helping welcome in the hive-mind robot overlords of retail. Warehouses run by Gap, as well as Zappos and Staples now use autonomous robots to pluck products from their shelves and send them to you.

Human worker: “Over here, with the robots, it seems a lot better.”

Does anyone see this as the first real development this century of the division of labour paradigm? You have to wonder how the efficiency of the Kiva robots (touted as the great benefit in the article/video) will affect the human workforce (obviously, if they’re so efficient, these warehouses can function with less human workers). Where are the luddites?

And more importantly, what happens when self-awarness becomes part of the package? I see robot unions by 2100.

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