Amazon challenge tests #robots stow & pick skills, soon to replace humans in #warehouse

Picking stuff up and putting it away sounds like child’s play, but to online retailer, it is a high-tech, high-stakes game. This year, contestants competed in timed stowing and picking operations — simple enough for humans yet nearly impossible for robots to perform reliably. For stowing, each robot was rated on how efficiently it could pick up items and put them on a shelf. In the picking phase, the robots had to put specified items into the proper boxes. The top eight advanced to the final round.

Sourced through from:

WHY IT MATTERS: robots will soon replace humans in Amazon warehouses, as there are already 45000 kiva robots and growing. Moreover, the tasks that robots can perform is expanding and Amazon is pushing the limits of what’s possible with this annual robotics challenge. 

Also see

– Economist story 

– projections that US manufacturing jobs will continue decline while robots growth at an accelerated pace 

– PWC estimates that robots will replace pretty every human worker in every industry 

Farid Mheir