By Brian Huse, Director, Marketing & PR, Robotic Industries Association
Robots flitting around the warehouse aisles at Amazon? George Jetson, get ready for your close-up! Daily Double: “What did George do?” Did he and his boss, Mr. Spacely, know one day a real-life company called Amazon would invest $775 million to have a fleet of robots to help speed up business?
As seen in CNBC video, Kiva Systems is now an Amazon asset to facilitate pick, pack and place. Surely, the pairing is proof that a doppelganger for this situation exists in cartoon land at Spacely’s Space Sprockets. It’s so easy, Staples even uses it (enter stage left the Easy Button). But seriously, the initial CNBC footage shows Kiva in action at a Staples warehouse.
Kiva Systems makes fleets of robots for inventory storage and retrieval. Amazon has a lot of logistics to manage in order that a huge inventory ships right and ships fast. Now they have robot “tugs” to create hyper efficiencies.
What does it mean to have a thriving warehouse hub in your metro area? Work might change as robots disrupt old assumptions, but it will cause new opportunities in logistics, operation and maintenance. In short, the supply chain may get robotified but new jobs will emerge that place a premium on technological skill sets.
Maybe George Jetson was a logistics genius? Even if he wasn’t, he had a great car.
For job seekers in logistics, it may be worth it to go to Philadelphia or one of the other hubs Amazon has for warehouses – at the very least visit MHIA, the trade association that specializes in the supply chain. If you want a job in robotics become versatile in engineering and practical applications. Visit Rho Bota Phi or the Robotics Online Career Center to join a new workforce of technical and engineering savvy employees where people, automation and robots are all welcome.