Many big companies have recently opted out for the traditional worker also known as humans, for a more metal-made employee known as a robot. Businesses like, Amazon, Staples, Crate & Barrel, and Gap are all now employing robots to carry out duties that before were completed from warm-blooded people. The idea is simple but in order for a company to implement this robotic feature in their workplace, it’s a little more complex than just throwing ‘robot bodies’ in the field. It takes about 6 months and a great deal of capital to employ these bots. The company that is making this a reality for businesses like Walgreens, GAP and Toys ‘R’ Us, is Kiva Systems.
Normally, products in warehouses are transported from point A to point B by humans in forklifts or by conveys. Kiva’s method is different where the goods do not actually leave the storage racks. Instead, products are stored on portable storage units that are transferred via a robot worker. The robots are able to navigate throughout the distribution center delivering goods to their human co-workers with a grid system set up in the floor.
Here’s how it’s done in leyman’s terms. When an order comes in for particular product, a signal is transmitted to the robot. At that point, the robot steers itself over to the mobile unit from the data it receives from the network in order to fulfill that assignment. Then the robot drives under the rack and picks it up and transports it to the appropriate area. Knowing the size of these institutions and the amount goods that go in and outside of these places on a daily basis, this really is an investment worth entertaining.
Before knowing about the working of various types of robots, let’s first take a look at the basic working of a robot.
Any robot is composed of three parts-Sensors (for input), Mechanical Actions (, and CPU (processor) for output). The sensory inputs that the robot takes can be anything from smell, touch, visual differences, etc. The central processing unit is the microprocessor or microcontroller that processes this input quantity, searches for the corresponding function to perform from the previously-fed or programmed instruction set, and then sends the signal on to the output port. The robot will perform the desired action upon reception of this signal. Let us take an illustration of a robot that will stop once it comes in touch with any obstacle.
Speaking of investment, the start-up cost involved adding these robots to your payroll will set a small company back roughly $2 million. It can cost upwards of $20 million, for the bigger companies like Amazon. However, for this you can employ 1, 000 robots in one distribution center just as Staples does. Kiva makes two types of robot model. Other than the difference with dimensions and power, the amount they’re able to lift is what differentiates them. The smaller version is capable of lifting up to 1, 000 lbs. And the larger model can carry loads up to three, 000 lbs. Kiva’s approach to delivering products around is definitely a more effective process versus the conventional procedure of having humans fumble throughout the floors searching items.
So now you ask, how can having additional robots in our public spaces really enhance the employment rate? Simple! Humans build robots. As more and more robots are being built, that an indicator that work is being conducted by us. A recent study conducted Metra Martek, a marketing firm, concluded that 1 million industrial robots currently in operation are directly responsible for creating 3 million human jobs. Looking ahead, over the next 5 years, robots will create another 1 million jobs for us.
This study confirms that manufacturing employment is brighter in countries that continue to advance their robot investments. The report’s author, Peter Gorle, likewise points out three crucial areas of robots that carry out jobs that wouldn’t be economically doable in a high wage economy, growth in robotic deployment: Robots that perform tasks that would be considered unsafe for humans, and robots that carry out work that humans cannot possibly do.
Robots are our future and our future is robots. The demand for robots is in high gear with no plans of breaking. The Federal Government has also jumped on the bandwagon. In November 2011, it announced they were giving $344 million to fund researchers of robotics from around the globe. This funding is for robot lizards. This is a robots that can run at high-speed and most importantly, run up and down walls.