Automation is taking over

Robots can save time and money but are they good for everyone?


OSHbot at Lowes

In today’s world robots are beginning to replace humans, presenting a major problem in the job industry.  Big companies such as Kroger, Amazon and recently even Lowes have invested thousands upon millions of dollars to create working robots.  These mechanical workhorses can easily pay for themselves within a few years and always show up to work because that is what they are programmed to do.

Lowes for example has set their minds on developing and implicating the OSHbot, which will greet customers and guide them to their destination.  One good thing here is that the robot will have ads on the back of it which could potentially encourage customers to buy more and ultimately strengthen the economy.  The bad is of course that this robot is taking away a job that somebody could really need to support a family.

Amazon has taken a different path by entering the skies with its’ flying drone that can supposedly carry and deliver an item to a customer’s house within 30 minutes or less.  Similar to the OSHbot, this robot will also be taking away jobs specifically from the UPS people who normally deliver these packages to your doorstep.  However, this invention also creates a whole new host of problems.  Amazon’s Prime Air drone has raised questions about air traffic safety all the way to homeland security and privacy.  Since the drone is unmanned, who would be responsible for any legal matters?  Technology entrepreneur Ray Kurzweil stated that, “technology has always been a double edged sword, fire kept us warm and cooked our food but also was used to burn down our villages”.

UScan at checkouts replaces cashiers and baggers.
UScan at checkouts replaces cashiers and baggers.

Kroger has capitalized on its Uscan system which not only takes away jobs from cashiers, but also from the bag boys.  These small computer systems allow the customer to simply check him or herself out without the help of an employee.  These computers are not perfect however as they are often slow and don’t work.

Michael O’Brien gave his thoughts on the topic by saying, “Automation is convenient and cost effective for both customers and corporations, but they can take away many jobs that require manual labor”.

Robots are arguably creating a problem and if not addressed could further increase later down the road.  Big corporations are able to constantly expand attracting more and more customers annually while smaller businesses are losing sales.  These smaller businesses are not able to keep up with the growing technology due to the hefty costs of implementing new technologies.

Amazon's Prime Air. Will it deliver your next online purchase?
Amazon’s Prime Air. Will it deliver your next online purchase?