When seeing robots whizzing around warehouse floors, or reading news about things like autonomous forklifts and delivery drones, it is understandable to start to worry about whether one’s own job is safe in this ever automated world.
From self-driving trucks to delivery by drone, automation of the supply chain is becoming increasingly common. But while the use of automated technology in delivery or the “last mile” (the final stage of the supply chain process) has received plenty of publicity, it is arguably in the other supply chain areas where robotics offers the most opportunity.
Believe it or not, warehouse automation is not a recent innovation. In fact, the first automated guided vehicle (AGV) was invented back in 1953, while the first automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS) was installed in the 1960s.
Imagine if you could reduce the time it takes to fulfil an order from a matter of hours to minutes.
This was the idea behind Amazon’s purchase of the Kiva robotic system in 2012 when they chose to invest $775 million to acquire the company.