Lead Forensics

Research reveals robots cannot pick items better than humans

While Amazon is at the forefront of automation, research has revealed that its robots cannot pick products for orders better than humans.

There is a fear that robot order pickers will replace humans in factories and warehouses, but Amazon and Tesla have both indicated that their robots will continue to work alongside humans. Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that his car factories were reducing the number of automated processes, saying:

“Excessive automation at Tesla was a mistake, humans are underrated.”

Some believe that robots are needed to help ensure social distancing in the workplace. This has been questioned in an MIT article titled “Working with Robots in a Post-Pandemic World” by Erik Brynjolfsson, Stanford Digital Lab Director, and Matt Beane, an assistant professor at the University of California.

Their research shows that many companies that invested in large-scale automation were not more efficient. Some assume that robots are prolific in manufacturing plants and warehouses, but the report reveals that less than 1.3% of companies actually use robots.

Brynjolfsson said that Amazon has seen more success by using sophisticated information systems, not robots. He added:

“Amazon is constantly testing the frontiers of what machines can do. Humans and machines have different strengths and weaknesses, and it is always better to have some combination of humans and machines.”

Robots may be more efficient at some tasks, but picking order items is best done by humans using equipment supplied by a heavy duty trolley supplier, which is manufactured to be both efficient and durable.

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