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Robots & humans: better together

12.20.18

By Daniel Theobald, CIO and co-founder of Vecna Robotics

 

A recent study by Baylor University found more than a third of people are afraid they will lose their job to robots. While this fear is understandable, evidence indicates robotic integration will increase roles, worker safety, productivity, and satisfaction. 

Humans are, and will always be, a crucial part of the value stream. Robots can handle repetitive functions, quality precision, and around-the-clock work, but they cannot handle strategic decision making.

Humans, on the other hand, use reasoning to work around the unforeseen and analyze situations to improve processes, but they should not work a 24-hour shift – it is not physically or mentally safe.

Neither humans nor robots can do it alone; they must work as a team. Even with automation, the extreme labor shortage within the material handling industry is making it impossible for companies to meet staffing requirements.

Large organizations are turning to robots to remain competitive and not go out of business. In addition, history has proven innovation leads to job creation, not loss.

Integrating automation is not only good of the organization but good of the employee. It creates better, safer, more fulfilling roles that people want, not just need.

By combining innate human strengths with those of automation, a real sustained economic value is established.

The urge to turn the lights out, and the reason not to

 

The US jobless rate is at a 49-year low of 3.7 percent. Yet, the exponential growth of e-commerce demands an additional 452,000 material handling positions in 2019 that employers are struggling to fill. In order to make up for the shortage of full-time workers, companies often turn to temporary or seasonal staff.

This leads to increased recruiting, hiring, training, and turnover costs. To entice workers back into the warehouse, organizations have doubled the hourly rate in the last five year

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