Robots at work: List of companies already using them
The threat of robots impending of jobs has been looming for years.
Several articles, studies, reports and opinions have concluded that all sectors of the global workforce are set to be impacted by innovation in some way.
Earlier this year, billionaire Richard Branson wrote in a blog post that 9-to-5 workdays will disappear eventually and the way “we all work is going to change” due to the rise of technology.
But he added it's all good news.
“As Google’s Larry Page and others have said, the amount of jobs available for people is going to decrease as technology progresses,” Branson wrote, citing innovations such as driverless cars, advanced drones and even pilotless planes as examples.
“On the face of it, this sounds like bad news for people. However, if governments and businesses are clever, the advance of technology could actually be really positive for people all over the world,” he added.
And, many companies are already adding robots to their roll call to help better the lives of their employees.
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FOX Business put together a list of big companies who have recently added robots.
FedEx SAMEDAY BOT
FedEx Executive Vice President Brie Carere told FOX Business that it has developed an autonomous device called FedEx Sameday Bot to help retailers such as Target, Walgreens and Walmart make same-day and last-mile deliveries right to customers' doors.
“This is a new category device,” Carere said during an interview on “Mornings with Maria." Opens a New Window. “It’s going to be able to go along your sidewalk or traverse on a bike lane. It can go up curbs. It can go on paved and unpaved surfaces and it can even climb stairs — it’s incredible.”
The bot is being developed alongside iBot inventor DEKA Development & Research Corp., and includes safety features, screens, cameras and the ability to communicate with pedestrians or bystanders around it. FedEx said it plans to test the new device this summer in select markets.
This week, auto giant Ford announced it has teamed up with Agility Robotics to create Digit, a two-legged robot that can deliver packages straight to your doorstep using a self-driving car.
"Built out of lightweight material and capable of lifting packages that weigh up to 40 pounds, Digit can go up and down stairs, walk naturally through uneven terrain, and even react to things like being bumped without losing its balance and falling over," Ford said in a blog post released on Medium.
However, the company did not release any details on when -- or if -- Digit will be used by retailers in the future.
Earlier this year, Stop & Shop and Giant/Martin's stores announced they will roll out 500 robots to help employees spot hazards. Marty, above, was designed to stroll through aisles and detect hazards, such as liquid, powder, or bulk food items spills. The goal is to help mitigate risk and enable other associates to spend more time serving customers.
As reported by FOX Business, employees at HSBC's flagship branch in New York City got a new coworker this summer named Pepper. The new friendly robot is one of two test robots featured at the Fifth Avenue location. Pepper's role at the bank will be to greet customers and ask questions about their needs. And, based on a customer's answers, she will then use her "notify" feature and alert the correct bank staff to help out.
Kroger employees at its Scottsdale, Arizona store have added Nuro -- an automonous delivery van -- to its employee list. Last December, Kroger announced after piloting the program for six months, the supermarket chain is officially taking off with its driverless delivery service.
Auto-C (Autonomous Cleaner)
Walmart announced last year that it's adding 360 robot janitors to its roll call. The floor-scrubbing robots called Auto-C, is powered by Brain OS technology. It also has safety guards on both sides of it to deter any customer who might be tempted to hop on and take a ride while it's cleaning.
Earlier this year, Amazon announced it has created its own robot named "Scout" to help its delivery team. The little blue rolling robot will be used to help deliver packages Monday through Friday "during daylight hours" to help ease the workload for employees. Only six devices are currently being tested in Washington state.