Kiva warehouse robots are wired in to a computer system that tracks customer orders as well as where everything is located on the floor.
The Wall Street Journal article below notes that the robots may save Amazon $400 million to $900 million a year in so-called fulfillment costs, namely the dollars spent to assemble and ship the merchandise. The good news is increased efficiency, but clearly humans are being phased out of certain aspects of warehouse work, even though the company is hiring extra temps for the holidays.
Just how is the future economy supposed to work with far fewer human workers needed to produce goods and services? One analyst estimates that one in three jobs will be done by smart machines by 2025, only 11 years from now. The Amazon warehouse is an example that the change to automation is already far along.
With a radically transformed economy in the near future, America certainly doesn’t need to import millions of immigrants, even though the boomer generation is retiring from jobs (one common excuse for excessive immigration)…