Watch thousands of robots pack groceries in a warehouse


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/05/16/watch-thousands-of-robots-pack.html


#2

The video’s claim that the robots use 4G is highly suspect.


#3

I saw one robot spit into a box.


#4

Are you sure that it was spit?


#5

Even with a consolidated cell phone bill, it would be hell trying to figure out which robot was calling home to China on breaks.


#6

I know robot spit when I see it buster.


#7

#8

Interestingly they are facing resistance in the U.S.

“U.S. players such as Walmart are focusing on cheaper low tech warehouses as they can afford more of them, closer to customers, rather than the high tech sheds favored by Ocado and Chinese players.”

I would think that Amazon would be a prime investor / buyer of the technology in their effort to enter dominate the U.S. grocery wars.


#9

Amazon has a division entirely devoted to the development of warehouse automation:


#10

Three videos and I still did not see how a crate was lifted up from the grid by/into a robot. Yeah, robots buzzing around and groovy ambient music - very effing impressive, but not highly explanatory. Sometimes video directors/producers of things like this forget about what the audience might be interested in and assume we’re all hypnotised and gobsmacked by the superficial - in this case just by lots of little square R2D2s running around.


#11

Am I the only one who wonders where the workers went?


#12

I was wondering the same too: since they drop stuff in the box out in the middle, what now?

Do the crates then drop down to another level to get fed to a conveyor? Do they then pick up the box again and take it back somewhere?

At around the 1:29 mark on the 2nd video you can see a robot in the foreground picking up a create to its innards.

Then, early in the 3rd video you can see the control software has a view with a couple of outbound looking conveyors on the left side.

So this grid is just the storeroom for all the items while the pickers shown in the first video at 2:30 do the grabbing from the crates that get brought by the square runner bots.

It all seems like strangely inefficient way to pack a box of the robots run around only with full crates and can’t drop individual items.


#13

My only question is, can they be reprogrammed to engage in a winner-take-all demolition derby?


#14

“No one ever goes in and no one ever comes out.”

R. Dahl


#15

This will be hacked.


#16

I’d settle for a game of Bomberman. Even checkers would do.


#17

I suspect they went the same way the Camperforce is likely to go. In most articles describing their work, it sounds like they are filling in for the gaps in technology. Once Amazon’s robots are good enough to replace the Workampers, they’ll vanish too.


#18

I’m old enough to remember when we didn’t use the word “vanish” to describe people.


#19


#20

Yeah, those were the good old days.