While autonomous mobile robots can reduce the labor requirement that warehouse operators often struggle to fill, in many cases, AMRs are deployed to work alongside humans—not in place of them. Find out why a Lockheed Martin warehouse that fills orders for aviation parts deployed mobile robots, and how they’re viewed as helpers by their human co-workers.
Autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) are quickly becoming common place in warehouse operations. A lot of the communication regarding the new tech focuses on robots taking people’s jobs. With the rise in artificial intelligence, it is becoming a real debate about the possibility of machines taking over. I think Pandora’s box is open; there is no going back with technological advancements in the warehousing realm, or other business systems for that matter. In fact, a recent article in Modern Materials Handling states that the AMR market “will grow nearly tenfold” in the next five years – becoming a “$6.8 billion” industry in sales.
However, this article by Roberto Michel is a positive look at increasing AMR solutions in the work space. Michel states towards the beginning of the article, “For companies deploying AMRs in DCs, robotics is often seen as a way to make the human labor you can secure more productive, rather than try to run a fully automated DC. That makes mobile robots more like co-workers than gear that is going to “automate” associates out of jobs.”
I found this article to not only be informative, but also a good reminder that technology can be integrated as a win/win. Michel writes about integrating a WMS with AMR solutions. He also has some good examples of including the warehouse workers in the integration process so that the AMRs have co-worker support.
Michel’s article focuses on the experience at Lockheed Martin Corporation, where its use of AMRs has forged a tight working relationship between the workers and the robots.
It’s a good, informative, and supportive article.