Coffeehouse Thread

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Inside an Amazon warehouse

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  • User profile image
    Michael Butler

    Love to play a game of hide and seek in there. Or maybe a very long game of Laser Tag.

  • User profile image
    Maddus Mattus

    @Michael Butler: dominos Smiley

  • User profile image
    ryanb

    , SteveRichter wrote

    Where is the driverless forklift?

    The driverless forklift very much does exist and has in some places for years.  (I know a guy who works on them,)  Fully automated picking is used in some places to great effect.  Amazon certainly could build such a system if they decided to do it.  The fact that they still use humans says that they have found that to be more efficient/cost effective.  For something on that scale, I imagine that it would be more efficient to let humans handle it.  Otherwise you would have to have a smart conveyor system that would make UPS look like grade school.

  • User profile image
    ScanIAm

    Aaaaand why not let a human do the work?  Either we

    1) cut down on the number of people or

    2) cut down on the jobs being automated or

    3) quit bitching about freeloaders who don't work and still want luxuries like food and housing.

    Pick 1.

  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    , ScanIAm wrote

    Aaaaand why not let a human do the work?  Either we

    1) cut down on the number of people or

    2) cut down on the jobs being automated or

    3) quit bitching about freeloaders who don't work and still want luxuries like food and housing.

    Pick 1.

    4) Add new jobs to do new things.

    5) Do more complex things - automate the boring bits and use people to do the creative bits.

    There's no reason why the total amount of work output by the human race should remain constant. So I dispute that more automation of jobs inevitably leads to less work for people to do overall.

  • User profile image
    Maddus Mattus

    5!

  • User profile image
    ScanIAm

    @evildictaitor: You vastly overestimate the skill level of the average person.  In fact, 50% of them are below average!!!

  • User profile image
    JohnAskew

    , SteveRichter wrote

    How soon before they can automate the carts that travel around the warehouse and have a machine that does the picking and replenishment? I do programming in a warehouse and can't  help but notice how labor intensive the process is. A lot of people on the line putting labels on boxes. Boxes being taken off of finished good pallets ( same product code ) and placed on ship pallets ( a mix of product codes to be shipped. ) Fork lift drivers taking the pallets from assembly locations to staging locations and then to the door.  I figure with some Kinect devices, arduino programming and millions of dollars I could automate the entire process. Yet in the Amazon photos I see countless people pushing carts between aisles. What is the holdup?  A social conscience?

     

    Variable package sizes. Honestly. Think about it. USPS may be onto something...

  • User profile image
    JohnAskew

    , ScanIAm wrote

    @evildictaitor: You vastly overestimate the skill level of the average person.  In fact, 50% of them are below average!!!

    No, only half.

  • User profile image
    ScanIAm

    , evildictait​or wrote

    *snip*

    4) Add new jobs to do new things.

    5) Do more complex things - automate the boring bits and use people to do the creative bits.

    There's no reason why the total amount of work output by the human race should remain constant. So I dispute that more automation of jobs inevitably leads to less work for people to do overall.

    To answer this seriously:

    What jobs are going to replace the ones that are being automated?  If you buy a robot to replace one man, you need to pick from one of options 1-5.  If your argument is that we'll just find a new or more creative job for him, fine.  But another reason for buying a robot is to replace many men.  Now you have to find something for many men to do. 

    I don't doubt the ideal of finding new and more better thinky-time work for displaced box stackers is a laudable goal, but it isn't always practical, and it has never fully worked. 

  • User profile image
    fabian

    @ScanIAm: What jobs are going to replace the ones that are being automated?

    The robots don't innovate, build, install and repair them self.

  • User profile image
    kettch

    , SteveRichter wrote

    *snip*

    ok. So every item is packaged to the degree necessary so the machine can pick it, transport it and put it away.

    *snip*

    This isn't a far fetched idea either. Walk through a Costco (local availability may vary) and look at how their items are packaged. They dictate packaging to their vendors for most items. Even fiddly things like pens and razors are packaged in a common form factor. Everything else is in boxes.

    That may get onerous for some vendors and items, but it could work for many.

  • User profile image
    cbae

    , fabian wrote

    @ScanIAm: What jobs are going to replace the ones that are being automated?

    The robots don't innovate, build, install and repair them self.

    Yet.

  • User profile image
    Maddus Mattus

    In our local hospital robots already pick the drugs from the shelves.

    And for the rest, this is what progress looks like.

    We are always looking for more efficient ways of doing things.

  • User profile image
    ScanIAm

    , fabian wrote

    @ScanIAm: What jobs are going to replace the ones that are being automated?

    The robots don't innovate, build, install and repair them self.

    Nor will the displaced warehouse workers.  Jobs aren't modular.

  • User profile image
    fabian

    True, but in many cases robots will perform phycical hard and unheathly jobs that makes people ill. In those cases i hope for more robots.

  • User profile image
    Bass

    • Reduce the amount of hours worked in a standard workweek.
    • Better incentives for going to school/specialized training, including paid time off. (This kills two birds with one stone - takes people out of the workforce and makes them more relevant when they come back in).

     

  • User profile image
    ScanIAm

    I agree with the ideals of taking people out of hard or dangerous work, but unless we pull them off the game board, they still need something to do.  The bootstrappers who complain about freeloaders aren't going to allow those folks to work less hours through public support, so again.  I'm not hearing any actual solution to what they will do. 

    The idea that a ditch digger is going to turn into an architect once his job is replaced by a backhoe is just not reality.

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